When Parenting Never Ends, Part 1: Are you a Lone Ranger?

Parenting advice 1 care Ben Pratt Dr. Wayne Baker is taking a short summer break. This week’s guest writer is Dr. Benjamin Pratt, a pastoral counselor and author of the “James Bond Bible study.” After years of advising men and women, Dr. Pratt is focusing on an emerging challenge for millions of Americans: adult children and grandchildren “moving home” and needing care. Dr. Pratt is creating a workbook for families—and needs your help (Quick links: Intro, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.)

This week, I want to explore one of the biggest challenges facing mothers and fathers who discover their parenting may never end: overwhelming work.
Lone Ranger     If you’re in this situation yourself, what do you do to keep from becoming the Lone Ranger? What strategies do you use—or have you seen friends and relatives use?
    Here are some actual comments from overwhelmed parents:
    “I don’t know who to turn to. I’m the one who has to get it done.”
    “It has become my job and my job alone. I can’t burden others with my job.” 
    “I’ve tried to get help, but little if any is to be found.”
    Parents have told me these things. How about you? Sound familiar?
    Here’s an all-too-common scenario: A grandmother who cares full time for her autistic grandchild rushes through her own daily shower. She limits herself to a five-minute shower with her granddaughter perched on the toilet—so the grandmother frequently can peer around the corner of the shower curtain to see that her granddaughter is not experiencing difficulty.
    Sound familiar? Know someone living like this?
    Inspirational writer Frederick Buechner faced some frightening problems with his own children. He writes about the dangers of becoming a Lone Ranger—or, as he describes it, becoming a hermit in your own home: “The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. You can even prevail on your own. But you cannot become human on your own.”

    Please, Add a Comment. Where have you seen this kind of problem arising? What solutions have you found?

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