Five Parenting Tips: Letting Go

Happy Mother’s Day!!

For many mothers, this will signify their teens' last Mother’s Day in high school. Many teens are leaving home, to start their adult lives. For the first time, parents are faced with the inevitable: they may become unemployed as a result of doing a good job. They will always wear their title, but their full-time parenting position has been phased out.

Although it is a joyous occasion, it is also a sad occasion. It doesn’t have to be devastating, and depressing. Nothing will totally take the sting away, but the transition can be smooth. Here are just a few strategies to help overcome the feelings of loss.

  1. Practice loving acceptance. This is what is supposed to happen. Don’t avoid the mixture of feelings. At some point sit down and acknowledge the feelings. Recognize that this is a normal part of their process of becoming an adult.

  2. Make a plan. Think about what you want t do. Plan to do some things you want to do, without the children.

  3. Take time for some self-examination. It’s not easy to face reality. Since you are entering a new stage of life, this is an excellent time to look at what other changes you want to make in your life.

  4. Encourage Independence. Resist helping too much. They will still need some help, but resist doing for them what they can do for themselves. Don’t clean up their messes (this is a whole other blog!)

  5. Remember their capabilities. Trust that you have given teens the skills they need to start on a safe journey towards adulthood. Of course, they have lots to learn but trust the process. You were their age, and you have managed to reach adulthood.

Letting go is never easy, but it is the last process in a successful parenting relationship with a burgeoning young adult. They get independence, and you get freedom, enjoy it.

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