Yesterday was a day for political comebacks – both Hillary Clinton and John McCain overcame their losses in Iowa and won in New Hampshire, surprising pundits, volunteers and maybe even themselves. As they each addressed their cheering crowds last night, we thought about the support that had sustained them in their struggles. What can we Sandwiched Boomers learn from them to apply to our own stressful challenges?
Chelsea Clinton has been on the campaign trail stumping for her mother all over the state; John McCain specifically thanked each of his seven children for their efforts. The candidates were able to ask their children to pitch in and help them out when they needed it. We too need to recognize that our offspring can step up and have a greater degree of participation in the responsibilities we face. At each stage of their development, there are certain jobs we can give them – with increasing levels of complexity and importance. This reliance on them is a win-win situation for all – our burdens ease as we delegate chores and responsibilities and, at the same time, our sons and daughters mature and learn to depend on themselves. They are then less likely to boomerang back into the nest when they become young adults. It’s a matter of first recognizing what kinds of things we can ask of them and then actually doing so, even if they resist at first.
You don’t have to wait until you run in a presidential primary to initiate your growing children into the responsibilities of adulthood – you can begin today to create a healthier sandwich. It’s not too late to make your own comeback, relying on the support of your family. Bon appetit!