Fellow FtB blogger Ashley Miller is going through a rough time. When her father learned after Thanksgiving day that she was dating a black person, he disowned her and refuses to talk to her anymore. As one can imagine, this has upset her.
I was startled by the news. Such an action seems like such a throwback to a long forgotten time. What makes it seem so futile is that nowadays parents wield so little power over their grown children. It is also rare that disowning or the threat of doing so actually changes the other person’s behavior. The main consequence of disowning an adult is to create hurt and anger, not actual hardship. But after Ashley told others of her experience, I have learned that being disowned nowadays is not as rare as I had thought.
Some parents don’t seem to realize that if your child grows up to be a decent human being, is making a positive contribution to society, and avoids drugs and jail, you are already a lucky parent and should be grateful for what you have. But as she points out, “I sit here and wonder… would my father like me better if I’d gotten drunk and run someone over and been sent to jail and dropped out of school… and I think the answer is yes and I don’t know what to do about it.”
The answer is that there is probably nothing she can do apart from not reacting equally harshly. Many parents eventually come round. I am old enough to have seen instances of parents freaking out at something their child did, swearing never to have anything to do with them again, and then over time slowly accepting the situation. So the best thing to do is to be open to quiet feelers for reconciliation and hope for the best.