Families need to be created and then maintained

Nov 1, 2023 | Insights

Your children remain part of the family, and you will spend time and energy maintaining the family for many years.
In the Museo degli Innocenti in Firenze, a young girl talks on video about her upbringing. Aged in her mid-20s, she is one of the last unwanted children to be taken in by the Innocenti. She was adopted from the Innocenti and subsequently became the centre of a tug-of-war between her adoptive parents and her birth parents.

This struggle blights her life and continues to this day (under Italian law, as I understand it, it is impossible to change your name to that of your adoptive parents without the consent of your birth parents, even when you reach your majority).

The video is remarkable and uplifting. However, at one point, the young woman expresses the anger and hurt she feels at her birth parents as they have attempted to regain custody from the adoptive parents she loves.

Families need to be created

She goes on to say that “families need to be created” and that the fact of giving birth to a child does not automatically create an emotional family, even if it creates a legal family. As far as she is concerned, it is her adoptive parents who have worked hard to create an emotionally intense and supportive family, not her birth parents.

For parents whose children have left home, especially those who have created that emotionally intense and supportive bond with their children, the challenge is no longer about “creating a family” but whether to maintain that family strength and how.

When children leave home, it is part of their development. It can be scary for the children and sad for the parents. Yet, it is a fact of life. So, should you maintain that family unity or let the children go?

Families need to be maintained

For most people, the parent-child bond remains strong, even in later life, and most parents and children want to maintain the bond. The burden will likely fall on the parents as their children explore the world, meet new friends, form relationships and create their own families.

So, parents must provide practical, emotional and financial support well after the kids leave home. And, the more that goes into creating a family in the first place, the more parents need to do to maintain the family later on.

Even though the children have left home, they remain part of the family, so remember that you will need to spend time and energy on maintaining the family for many years to come.

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Photo attribution

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

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