Family shifts

by Rod Smith

Mutuality, equality, and respect are the litmus tests for all healthy relationships. 

I am enjoying watching each of these values be challenged within my family as my sons transition from boys to full and grown men. 

Among us – the three of us – there are shifting power dynamics. There are changing degrees expectations. There are movements in responsibilities. These things are not always easy for each of us to see or understand as individuals. These changes can be even more difficult for us to accept and embrace as a family unit.

Perhaps you have been aware of similar changes in your own family.

Both boys are earning good salaries and so when we eat out I sometimes suggest one of them picks up the bill for our dinners rather than my sons assuming it’s my responsibility. The response is usually quite amusing but the point is made and one or both usually treat me to dinner.

I have been traveling significantly more lately than I have done in the last few years. When I arrive home the house is in reasonably good condition. My younger son picked up responsibilities that would usually fall to me and I see a healthy shift has occurred even though little or nothing was said or expected.

“We are three men now,” I tell them, “one of us just happens to also be dad.”

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