Parents worry. It’s what we do.
You could argue it is ingrained into us as part of a survival strategy. From the days of Mama Cavewoman telling her kids not to play with the saber-tooth tiger (“I said no, I don’t care how cute he is…”) through to the modern panic about kids crossing the street by themselves: parents worry.
If you’re prone to worrying, then don’t beat yourself up about it. Yes, that effectively means it’s being suggested that you shouldn’t worry about worrying – we’ve all been there, so give yourself a break.
At some point in time, you’re going to allow your kids to jump free from the nest and go it alone. That’s probably not an idea you’re cherishing, but in reality, it’s your entire point as a parent. Your job is to ensure they are ready for the world outside of your house, which means at some point, you have to loosen your grip. Here are some of the most successful parenting methods for raising an independent child.
So You Need To Find A Way To Cope
Part of your coping strategy is going to be about seeing the positives. The first sign your child doesn’t need you so much anymore can be heartbreaking, signaling the end of their dependent babyhood and the start of their own life and future. There is almost always a feel of rejection that accompanies the sensation, when in reality, it’s a good thing. If your kids are beginning to be determined they can deal with something by themselves, it’s a sign you have done your job right. You have equipped them with the confidence to trust their instincts and go with their own ideas.
It doesn’t stop it hurting, but it should mitigate the feeling somewhat.
They Do Still Need You
The moment your kids begin to break free and signal an interest in figuring things out for themselves is not an end to your parental responsibilities. It’s just the start of a paradigm shift; the beginning of a new phase where you become friends more than parent and child.
They’re still going to need you. If they have left for college, they’re still going to call you and ask for advice. You will still be their port of call when they need somewhere to relax and feel comfortable. You’re still going to be home for them.
Where To Resist
Of course, none of the above means at the first sign of striking out on their own, you should pull back and let them make their own mistakes. There’s merits to self-learning, but it can be a steep and dangerous curve.
On matters such as health and finance, it benefits you to ascertain your right to help them make decisions right up until they are fully grown adults. You should be the one making the call about whether a symptom needs checking over with an online doctor | telemedicine doctor visit or if they can wait for it to get better; to keep them on a healthy diet; you need to be in charge of how their financial savings are managed. Not doing so can result in a catastrophic run of bad decisions, so don’t be afraid to assert your authority where necessary.
So while it may be difficult, you’re not losing your children when they begin to find their own path. It’s a confirmation of your parenting skills and, over time, you will both begin to adjust to the new status quo. Enjoy it.