Hearing your child tell you that they do not need you anymore or even begin to take important decisions without you anymore can be a hard pill to swallow for parents. However, it is every parent’s joy to see their parents grow and become independent after the many years they put into nurturing and taking care of their kids.
One of the most important roles you have as a parent from the moment your child is born, is to help them develop into independent individuals who can think for themselves and not always have to rely on you for the most simple issues.
At the point of adolescence, parents go between letting go and hanging on with their kids. Adolescent kids choose this time to test boundaries and see which of their excesses will be allowed and which ones won’t, parents then begin to relax the boundaries and stringent rules.
Check This Out – How To Tell Your Toxic Parents You Are Moving Out
When Should Parents Let Go
As parents, you can only hope that your child has matured enough to make certain decisions alone as you gradually let them go.
Letting go does not just happen all at once. Rather, it is a gradual process that happens at different points in your child’s life.
As a mother, when your child is ready to stop breastfeeding, you would need to let go and when they are ready to go to college, you would also need to let go, not to mention other milestone events in between. These can be difficult moments for parents and quite frankly, it is easier said than done.
The Effects Of Letting Go Of Your Child
Different parents will experience different levels of difficulty when it is time to let their adult children go. Parents who brought up their children to be independent of them and have a mind of their own will likely have it easier when it is time to let go.
As their children grew, they learnt to solve some of their problems themselves and learnt that they wouldn’t always have their parents at their beck and call. For this family, letting go will come easier since they were never overly attached and dependent.
For other parents who brought up their children to be dependent on them for everything including making certain decisions, they might find it more difficult to detach and let go of their children when the time comes.
The children of these kinds of parents go to their parents for advice and directions on how to do things, they seek their parent’s approval stamp to go ahead with plans they have made.
It will not be a wonder if such children grow up and keep depending on their parents to make important decisions for them and this in turn will make letting go very difficult at this point.
Early Signs That Show Letting Go Will Be Difficult
There are usually signs that a parent, especially a mother, is overly attached and dependent on her bond with her child even from childhood. Any parent that exhibits these signs is likely to have a hard time letting go when their child comes of age:
- Putting their child to sleep in their bed even when the child is old enough to sleep alone in his own bed.
- Caring for their child by themselves and not wanting to use a babysitter.
- Fear of staying too long away from their child prevents them from going on vacations without the child.
- Checking on their child at school and even in college.
- The relationship between both parents begins to suffer because they are paying more attention to their child than to building their own bond and intimacy.
How To Let Go Of Your Child
There is no hard and fast rule to letting go of your child and no matter how much tips are proffered, it will not take away the emotions a parent feels when it is time to let go of their child. However, these tips can assist and help you as a parent handle and cope better with the process of letting go when it is time. Here they are:
Begin the process of letting go early in your child’s life. Do not wean longer than necessary. The earlier you begin this process, the easier it is for you as your child develops and matures.
Allow your child to grow on their own. Give them space and room to live, carry out assignments and tasks on their own, make their own decisions and their own mistakes. Resist the urge to interfere.
If you have trained your child right, then trust that the trainings you have given your child and values you have imbibed in them will guide them through to making the right decisions always.
Remind yourself that the phase of intense parenting is not forever and so tell yourself that you have played your part as a parent.
If you think you need to see a therapist, please do, as the process of letting go may feel like a period of loss.
Most times, you are the one in so much need of that parent-child bond and not your child. There is a clear difference between your needs and that of your child; do not mistake them.
Just like you would treat another adult, have a relationship with your adult child; a relationship that is based on admiration and respect for each other and not on your need for a parent-child bond.
The days of parenting have gradually come to an end. Embrace the change, plan other social activities for yourself, get new routines to take your mind off the life of parenting you are bound to miss.
No matter how grown they are, your child still needs you. Always be there for them as an anchor but never to control them. Even when you do not agree with their decisions since they are certainly bound to make mistakes as they grow in the adult world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is It Hard For Parents To Let Go?
Yes! Letting go is hard, although harder for some parents more than others. Some parents have built a strong bond between themselves and their children. This bond to them is a source of love and affection.
They literally see their children as companions. for such parents, it is usually more difficult to let go as they have build their lives around this parent-child bond and are too dependent on the bond to think of a life without that closeness with their child.
Besides the fact that your once little boy has now grown into a fine young man who should be allowed to make life’s decisions on his own, you are also aging and as such, there are things you should no longer give time to.
If you are a control freak, as you grow and age, you should let go of that need for control, or the need to apportion blame and always be the right one instead. Those lifestyles are expected to wane with time. As parents, letting go is one of the most challenging decisions we have to make every now and then, at one point or the other.
It is important for you to understand that no matter what you do or how much you want to control your child’s decisions and activities, things would not always work out the way you want it so why not leave things be and let them take care of their lives when they are of age?
I am a proud mother of two, a lover and home builder. My love for children gave birth to the bestofmotherearth.com with the aim to cover topics from child health, pregnancy, parenting, family, relationship, struggles in families and also food.