In parenting, there is no right way or wrong way. There is only the way that children want or how they interpret what their parents did, do, or will do.
It is somewhat similar to what I wrote the other day about government officials and natural disasters: you can’t win for losing. You think that you are doing something useful and positive, only to have it thrown back in your face as the worst possible choice of actions. Passing on experience and knowledge is labeled as “trying to dictate how I live my life”. Being generous (ie. spoiling) is exploited and interpreted as a form of control or manipulation.
There is a saying: make it easy for your children when they are young and you make it difficult for them when they are old. I have noticed some truth in this. Perhaps, the most harmonious families are those, where the children leave home, make their own way in the world, and visit only at Thanksgiving. Complaining about lack of phone calls, letters, and emails must be less stressful than frequent confrontation, accusations, and hurt feelings.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.