Is it love to make a child dependent on you? I don’t think so.

I’ve been reading The Good, the Bad, and the Mad by E. Randall Floyd. It’s definitely an interesting collection of short biographies of unusual people, but the entry on Robert E. Howard horrified me. He was an SF writer in the early 1900’s who committed suicide when his mother died. Supposedly, his mother had encouraged an exclusive attachment after his father died.

DH and I have always agreed that our purpose as parents was to produce independent adults who could live their own lives and make their own decisions. To ensure they developed self-confidence, we provided a solid wall of love and support – either child could have cuddling for the asking so they didn’t have to misbehave to get parental attention. As they got older, I asked if they wanted me in the room for dentist and doctor visits and other scary situations. When they were ready, they tackled each new situation solo. DD is still pretty shy but can handle what she wants to, and 17-year-old DS thinks he is already an adult and very indignant that legally we still control him.

I miss my sweet, loving babies. But I would consider myself a failure as a mother if either of them gave up on life when I pass on.

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