I can remember most of the anxieties and uncertainties that I had as an adolescent and young adult, because, well, they were anxieties and uncertainties. They were unpleasant. They significantly occupied my consciousness.
As I got older, naturally, they became easier to understand. I could more easily discern my role in them. I could evaluate different reactions to them. And, as my children grew, I started considering how I would help them with these anxieties.
So, of course, now that it’s time, there is very little commonality between what I was anxious or uncertain about and what they are anxious or uncertain about.
Different kids. Different world.
It’s generally agreed that being a parent is a difficult job. But until children are two years old or so, it’s only a question of endurance. You almost always know exactly what to do. You just have to have the time, money, and energy to do it.
Then, that “know exactly what to do” stays manageable for several more years, but starts getting gradually slipperier. It lurches a bit at puberty’s onset.
And then, finally, in late adolescence, it falls off a cliff.