Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grown Up Children - Why Won't They Listen?

Binghamton, NY traffic

Yesterday, I took my son, Jeff, to the doctor's. He has been having excruciating headaches. Since he is Epileptic I have been very worried about what was causing these. As well as seeing him in pain turns my stomach. I can hardly stand it. The parent in me wants to protect him from all pain. In reality, I can't. He makes choices every day that could contribute to pain now, or in the future. In his forties now, it is not up to me what habits he develops or food he consumes.

Coffee is good, but not TOO much!

What kind of bad habits can a grown child acquire? And what as the parent can you do to change them? What part did I, as a parent, do to contribute to his habits now, when he was a child? I will take a look at them here.

1. Smoking
2. Drinking way TOO much caffeine!
3. Using huge quantities of sugar!
4. Taking double doses of pain meds or his prescription for seizures when in pain.
5. Not drinking enough water.
6. Avoiding blood work and tests his seizure doctor orders, to monitor his condition.
7. Using huge quantities of condiments on his food. He doctors whatever he eats, even puts maple syrup on Hershey's Moose Track ice cream (which is sweet enough!).

"Just do what I say, Jeffrey!"

As a parent, I cannot change his habits much more than just telling him what he should do. You probably know that does not always work. If it works at all. Going to the doctor and having to get blood work yesterday, may help. He almost fainted and had to lay down to let them continue. At 6'5" I did not want him hitting that floor. I asked to be allowed to go in with him to see the doctor. Mainly because I knew he wouldn't be 100 percent honest, and may not remember everything that I thought was important. And I was right!  Being in pain though, makes him want it to quit so I am praying this will make him change his ways.

He listened to me then!

How did I contribute to his situation now, when I was raising him as a child?

Well, the number one thing I can think of, is that I was not into this homesteading lifestyle back then. Even though I had my own home gym, a membership at a racquetball club, used local tracks for race walking and ate a very low fat, high protein diet, my husband at the time, and my son did not. His father had his own successful business and he took us out to eat several times a week. He would buy huge bags of snacks and ice cream in all flavors. He kept a second refrigerator in our garage full of coke. My son would come home from school and eat almost a whole box of ice cream sandwiches in front of his television. I'd get mad at him over that, but next time at the store I'd buy 2 boxes of ice cream sandwiches. I should have stood up to them more. Sad to say, but Jeff's Dad died in 2010 from complications from Diabetes.

Trying to quit with a eCig!

Did the way he ate as a child effect him as an adult? I think so. The smoking habit was the influence of others after he had left home. I would not let anyone even smoke in my house. When he was a child he could not eat in a restaurant if someone was smoking in it. His father would ask them to stop smoking, and they would. Other than using too much sugar, most of the habits he does now, were not learned from me or our house. He picked them up along the way in his life. Maybe from other people. Who knows? I don't feel guilty because I did the best I could and for the most part, he is a good person.

He was always so happy back then!

Being a parent of a grown up child is a lot more challenging than when they are children. They usually have to do what you tell them when they are little or living at home. Grown ups are another story. I remember well, my mother trying to steer me in the right direction. Now at my age (hitting a big one this year), I look back and think, "Why didn't I listen to Mom back then? I would have been so much better off by now?"

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

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