Our children are “on loan” to us parents (and to other adults) so that we can teach, protect, and provide for them until they’re able to take over these responsibilities.

It’s a common assumption, and a misconception, that if we adults donate to our children so much of our lives…our love, time, energy, and money, that we somehow “own” more of our kids, or we have dibs on what they will eventually produce. We do not.

Some of us even will assume that our children owe us something in return, for what we have given, and for what we have given up for them. They do not.

At our best, we adults give willingly, with the hope that our children will have gratitude and appreciation for the adults who supported them. We hope that our children have a desire to remember us by compounding our gifts, “paying it forward”, treating others, including their own children, as well as we have treated them.

Charles Tadros, M.D.

May 20, 2023

Saint Louis, Missouri

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