Janis is a mental health professional in private practice in Washington, DC. She holds a Master's degree in counseling psychology.
Letting Your Child Grow Up
As children advance in school or enter college, parents are confronted with the reality of the child growing up. The parent is suddenly faced with letting go of that parental attachment they held from birth.
This notion of "letting go" can create levels of anxiety most parents have not prepared for, in an intensity they did not expect. Many report experiencing feelings of mourning and loss.
When the time comes, it is much easier said than done to break the parent-child connection and begin the establishment of a child's autonomy and independence.
Letting Go at Each Stage of Your Child's Development
Certain events in your child's development mark the times when you must let go and allow your son or daughter to take another step toward becoming a free-standing human being. Whether it's the end of breastfeeding, the first day of kindergarten, going away to college, or a wedding day, letting go can be difficult for a parent.
The teenage years are probably the most difficult, as you have less and less control over your child's developing autonomy and need to make his or her own decisions. Your teenaged child begins, in earnest, to move away from their dependency on you.
How to Let Go of Your Child
There is no one way to tackle and move through stages of your child's development. Every child requires different parenting, and every parent will do their best based on knowledge, experience, and available parenting tools. The following are basic tips to assist parents as they move through the difficult transition of letting go, when that time comes. Starting early will help create a good foundation upon which you can build successes at each critical stage of your child's development.
- Learn to recognize the difference between your child's needs and your own (scroll down to read more about a parent's dependency on the parent-child bond).
- Set boundaries for yourself; practice giving your child space to grow.
- Give your child a chance to master tasks alone and learn from mistakes.
- Trust that the values you've instilled will inform their decisions.
- Acknowledge that you've done your best as a parent and that the hands-on phase of parenting does come to an end.
- Treat the letting-go process as a transitional loss and grieve accordingly; see a family therapist if necessary.
- As your child matures, build a new relationship with them that is less about dependency and more about mutual respect, admiration, and a celebration of a budding, capable young adult.
- Develop social, recreational, and self-care activities to help distract from the life-long focus of parenting your children.
The Limits of the Parent-Child Bond
Overparenting: Recognizing Your Own Dependencies and Needs
Becoming aware of the reasons behind your need to be a parent to your child indefinitely is a good place to begin your letting-go process. Sorting out those mixed feelings that prevent you from letting go is the first step toward understanding and conquering one of the most painful parts of parenting. It requires looking within.
Your emotional struggle could be due to a dependency on your child. In my work counseling parents, some have spoken about the strength of the "love bond" between parent and child, a bond that supplies the parent's need for love, affection, and companionship. They admit how this bond affects their ability to separate from the child, causing emotional conflicts and disruptions in their personal and professional lives.
Signs of a Parent's Dependency on the Parent-Child Bond
- Delays in using a sitter to care for the child.
- A frequent need to "reconnect" or check on the child's welfare at daycare, school, or college.
- Being unable to socialize or vacation away from the child for long or extended periods of time.
- Relationship conflicts stemming from decreased intimacy and quality time between parents.
- Delayed weaning of child from your bed to his own bed.
- Conflicts about obligations to career or commitments to shift work, especially where basic childcare or breastfeeding is interrupted.
Letting Go Creates Parental Guilt and Internal Conflict
The conflicts noted above are experienced by many parents, especially mothers. In these instances—most often occurring during the child's early development—feelings of guilt, conflicting loyalties, and internal struggles to make sacrifices can overwhelm a parent.
The truth is, there is no other love that compares to the love a mother or father has for a child. Nothing can replace the bond that comes with caring for and protecting that child. Thus, a parent is operating out of pure love, reciprocated by the child, which creates the intense, unexpected love bond that is hard to break. It's no wonder parents have a tough time letting go and allowing the child to become independent, no wonder a parent experiences such an overwhelming flood of emotions and protective love when a teenager enters college.
This flood of emotion is only exacerbated by increased reports in the media of violence in public school classrooms, on college campuses, and in places of recreation which add to the gut-wrenching fear parents experience when faced with having to let go of their children.
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Read More From Wehavekids
The poem below, "For My Child," speaks to this struggle and the reconciliation as seen from the parent's point of view.
"For My Child"
I make my plans for you from birth
Carefully carving out your worth
So wrapped up in who you'll be
I neglect your individuality
I want to protect you all your life
Keep you safe from danger and strife
Temptation and pressure attack you all day
How as a parent can I keep it away?
I pray that you'll receive God's grace
And when you need to, slow your pace
Will my guidance be enough?
To guard and keep you from all that stuff?
My goal in life is to see you succeed
What's the best way to plant that seed?
I'll give you the room to make a mistake
I'll trust you with each step you take
I'll tell you "I LOVE YOU" when you make a mess
I'll tell you "NO" when I want to say, "YES."
I'll give you the space to set your tone
Adjust my expectations as you create your own.
[JLE 2006 Poetry Verse Form: Heroic Couplet]
Are You Scared to Let Your Child Grow Up?
Parents Talk About Letting Go of College-Bound Children
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: How do I help my mom let go of me? She struggled with my leaving in the past when I left for college but now I’m 30 and live in the same city as she does and will be moving soon. She is upset, fearful and hurtful in her words because of her fear.
Answer: It's hard to see your mom hurting but you eventually have to leave her to move forward with your life. Remind her of how she was able to get through the first time when you left for college. Encourage her to talk it through with a grief counselor to help with the feelings of hurt and loss. As much as you want to ease her pain, she will have to face this transition and do most of the work herself. It would certainly help to let her know how much you appreciate her and that your relationship will continue long-distance with new boundaries.
Question: My mom can’t come to terms with the fact that I am turning 18 in September and still thinks I need a curfew and strict rules. Although I am living under “their roof”, I have a job and am going to cosmetology school in November. I also have a boyfriend, and the 11 pm curfew is getting frustrating. Is she overreacting?
Answer: Not necessarily. Parents come across as overprotective when they are either afraid or trying to maintain discipline. I hear that the tug-of-war between following the rules and establishing autonomy can be extremely frustrating. Show your mom you can be trusted with those rules. It will show her that you can be mature and responsible. This may help her to let go enough to ease those rules gradually and give you the independence you deserve as you grow into an adult. I hope this helps. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Good luck with your endeavors.
Question: My daughter left a note and moved out. How do I cope? She’s eighteen, and a senior in high school?
Answer: This is a very difficult time for you and probably quite painful. The first thing you want to establish is that she's safe. Hopefully, you still have contact with her or can check on her through her friends. Unfortunately, you may have to ride this time out and wait, especially because she is of age. For her to leave like this indicates there may have been some tension about her need for autonomy. If there is contact, use this time to hear her out, listen to her grievances, and let her know you are still there for her no matter where she is. As for you, use the space to adjust to what it most certainly feels like to have to let go. Also, use this time for self-care that you otherwise may have been neglecting because parenting is a 24/7 job. Take good care of yourself and thanks for reading.
Question: My daughter has twice run off with a guy. Once when she was 17 and again recently at 19. She’s told lies about me and my husband and forever quits jobs. She’s now couch surfing. My mom thinks it’s my job to have her come. I don’t know the right thing to do?
Answer: Sounds like there may be some built of resentment affecting the family dynamics because no one has control over your daughter. Until she takes control of herself, it will be difficult for her and you to move forward. Maybe counseling would help. You are doing the best you can under the circumstances, there is no right or wrong, only letting go and making her accountable for her own behavior. Setting limits about how much time she spends "surfing the couch" may help.
Question: What do I do about an overbearing mom? She is trying to forbid me from staying at my boyfriend's, and I want to have a talk about it with her, but she’s so set in her ways.
Answer: That's a tough question when the overbearing mom is also the parent in charge. Depending on your age, maybe it's time for a conversation about moving out. But being out on your own takes a lot of planning and readiness. It might help to have a third party to help you, and your mom have a conversation. Maybe she will consider family counseling for both of you to work through any conflicts. You may also have to consider that there are rules that she will not bend on due to her parenting style and values. It is a tough call; you don't want to do anything impulsively that will make the situation worse. The best thing you can do at this point is to show her that you can be responsible in your choices so that she can see, by your behavior, that you can make mature decisions for yourself.
Question: My oldest is sixteen and has an infant. She has left home twice, and repeatedly says I need to let her go. Is it time? I feel like there are still things I need to show her, do for her, protect her from...I don't know how she can make it out there on her own, at this age, with a child.
Answer: I understand your concerns because she's still so young with adult responsibilities. If she has other supportive family and friends she can count on; maybe she'll be okay. She also has the option to plug into community resources to help her as well. But the bottom line for you is that as her mom and legal guardian, you want to uphold your responsibility to her, and she's pushing back. It's a tough call. Maybe you can ask what she needs from you and give her a certain amount of independence to make some decisions.
Question: I have two sons, ages 33 and 28, both still dealing with life struggles (job, finances, stability). Each one says, 'you do more for him than you do for me.' I'm at wits end with both of them not showing me respect and pushing harder to help them see it's harder in life than what they think. What can I do at this point to let them see I have done all I can to help them?
Answer: Is it possible that your internal struggle with trusting them to take care of themselves may be contributing to your tendency to enable them? Have you completely let go in order to let them challenge themselves to do better? They see how upset it makes you and may use that to get under your skin. They need to see that you care without the emotional attachment that is exhausting you. You no longer have control over how they will turn out. It's up to them to succeed or fail. It is no longer a reflection on you when they can make adult choices for their lives on their own. You must decide to let go emotionally, set boundaries, and no longer let them blame and attack you for their inability to move forward. Have fewer conversations and lectures about the issue and offer more well wishes.
Question: Every time I think of my son leaving for college in the fall I cry. How do I get past this stage?
Answer: It won't be easy so go ahead and get your cries out now. You are experiencing a normal stage in your own development as a parent, so there is no getting around the emotion. Try to focus more on how you've prepared him and that you've given him your best as a parent. Trust that he will do well and has all that he needs to be independent. Of course, you will miss his presence. It's a difficult stage, but you'll get through it. Thanks for reading, wishing you peace.
Question: Should I give our daughter money now that she is eighteen and moving out?
Answer: Yes, if she's shown you, she can be responsible, that's not a bad idea at all. But it's probably just as important to have her earning and saving on her own to learn money management skills toward financial autonomy. It is a blessing to have a family to help get young people started financially and provide the cushion needed to get them on their way to independence.
I noticed you posed your question, "Should I give our daughter money . . ." If there is parental conflict about this, it may definitely warrant discussion between both parents before a decision is made. Is she moving out on good terms or bad terms? Weigh the options based on her needs and demonstrated a level of maturity and responsibility. If there is disagreement, try to resolve it and make a united decision. Thanks for reading, I wish you well.
Question: My boyfriend is expecting me to move in with him when my daughter (17) graduates high school this year. She is expected to be on her own at that time, while his daughter will remain at home in his home with us. I feel it is unfair to expect me to basically abandon her right after high school. Would I be doing wrong by my daughter?
Answer: If your daughter is ready to move on and become independent, you are not abandoning her. Sounds like your questioning your own readiness to let go of her because your boyfriend has decided not to let go of his daughter at this time. Each child has different maturity levels so you cannot compare which one is more prepared against another. Maybe moving on with your own life isn't as easy as you thought if it means being a mom will no longer be your primary role. Give yourself some time to evaluate your readiness to take this step and prepare emotionally for the transition.
Question: My child will be four in August. I have never let her stay the night with anyone or let them babysit her. She's only ridden in the car with me. How do I let go a little?
Answer: Try letting someone keep her for thirty minutes during a weekend when you have access to her in case you get anxious and need to get her earlier. Gradually increase the time by five-minute increments. This will help you take small steps toward letting go and still have control over picking her up when you need to.
Question: How do I let go of my grown kids who are 22 and one is about to be 21? They are starting to show signs of no respect or loyalty for me. They also don’t want to follow the rules or listen to me at all or even speak while staying in my house, not paying any bills or anything. Do I let them run over me and do whatever they want or will I be a bad mom if I tell them "no", it’s time for them to go?
Answer: The bottom line is if your children are self-sufficient and able to take care of themselves, maybe it is time for that conversation about leaving. That doesn't make you a bad mom. It lets them know that they have alternatives if they are not going to respect your home. It also lets them see that you can set boundaries with them and not let them continue to take you for granted. With that said, I also suspect that there's a part of you that isn't ready to let go. Of course, they are still young and most kids in their twenties these days are not ready to move out. So the dilemma lies within you: assess your readiness to encourage independence while setting strong boundaries and limits about how they treat you. Give them opportunities to take on responsibilities if they want to stay there. This will allow you and your children to prepare for adulthood and work toward becoming more respectful to you and responsible for themselves.
Question: My nom looks at my baby pictures and she has emotion episodes about me being a newborn and now she feels like I'm growing up so fast. What should I do for her so she would understand?
Answer: Your mom will need time to accept that her role as a mother has changed. You are not as dependent upon her as you were during infancy. That dependency gives parents purpose and fulfillment. Losing that can be difficult as it appears to be for your mom. You can help her by telling her you still need her but in different ways. Let her know how she can still be a mom to you as you become independent. No matter how old we get, we still need our moms. Let her know.
Question: As I’m turning 27 soon, my mum wants me to have adult responsibilities. Yet, she still treats me like a child, expecting me to report to her every time I leave the house and tell her what time I’m coming home. She can’t seem to leave my sister and I alone as if we have nothing to do. Is my frustration justified?
Answer: I would say yes, your frustration is justified. You're stuck in a situation where you are a fully grown adult without full autonomy. The dilemma is you're apparently living under your mom's roof where the control tips in her favor. Some of her control is just due to worry. Maybe it's time to start thinking about a different living situation if possible, for you and your sister. Or is there an obligation to be there for your mother? I suggest you sort out your frustrations, possibly at yourself as well as your mum, and see where your control lies regarding your living situation.
Question: I have a 10 year old son that suffers from ADHD and a 14 year old daughter. I've never traveled anywhere and if I have, it's been with my kids. My son because of his developmental delay is very attached to me. I'm having trouble teaching him how to be independent. Also in the meantime, my daughter is getting to travel for a school activity and I'm not able to accompany her. Just thinking about letting go of my kids puts me to tears. Any advice is well taken. Help?
Answer: It sounds very painful for you to even think of letting go of your kids. The question is, as they grow, at whatever pace, how much will they actually need you. You may need to give yourself small challenges to transition into giving them space, for example, a structured camp for kids or recreational/cultural trips and activities offered by local agencies.
I hope you're working with a counselor, especially regarding your son. Despite his developmental delays, he still needs the chance to be independent in his own time with support and appropriate resources. That means you'll have to grieve the need to protect him and slowly let go. It will take time, be gentle with yourself. Focus on the love and teachings you've already instilled in them and trust that it will be enough.
Question: Is the difficulty some parents have letting their children grow up a real thing?
Answer: Yes, it is a very real thing.
© 2013 Janis Leslie Evans
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 27, 2020:
Thank you for posting this very difficult situation. It is certainly complicated in that nothing has improved in 10 years which essentially has put the growth of your relationship on hold. The issues run deep in the family dynamic you describe. It would take a willingness on his part to acknowledge the detrimental impact this has had on the relationship. But if he doesn't see it, therein lies your challenge.
Without there being a cost to the sacrifices already made, he may not see a reason to explore a better way to have a more vibrant relationship with you and maintain connection to his parents with distance. Counseling may be a first step for both of you, individually and as a couple, to weigh the costs and sacrifices in order to make some decisions about making adjustments to the way his parents can be a part of your lives.
Thank you for reading, glad you liked the articles. Excuse the delayed reply, I wish you peace.
Cookiewonder on July 13, 2020:
I’m enjoying reading your articles, they give a balanced view of the issues raised. Therefore it led me to seek your advice...The long story short it this. My partner of 3 and a half years has a strange living situation that is now impacting on us a couple. First of all we are long- distance (same country), his parents come from their home abroad every year to visit. They stay approx 4/6 months at a time. They don’t usually arrive or leave at the same time. My problem is that this situation does not give us quality time together. We are not able to visit each other freely. Yes, by all means he comes to see me, however I don’t go to his house to stay when his parents are there. Partly because of the lack of privacy, plus the size of his apartment does not comfortably accommodate 4 adults. Tried it couple times and it does not feel comfortable.
This makes things unbalanced for us as I have 3 children at home. I think the issue with this arrangement lies in the fact that his mother has not let go and he is in his forties! She always stays longer than her husband and operates as if his apartment is her second home. It’s frustrating especially when my partner becomes somewhat child-like in her presence. We don’t make plans regarding what the next step will be in our relationship because he doesn’t know know when they are coming or going. If he was to sell his apartment and we get somewhere together, they would have nowhere to go. They are in their seventies however, I see their behaviour as unreasonable and with no end, this current situation has been the same for over 10 years. I met him at a period when they were abroad. They seem oblivious to the fact that we are long distance and two adults in a relationship. I have spoken to him at length but he seems powerless to resolve the situation. I do feel that somewhere along the way the natural detachment as an adult has not taken place for any of them. It’s ended up being long winded!
Your thoughts would be welcome.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on June 29, 2020:
Yes, Riffat, it's very common. I'm glad you found it helpful. Thanks for taking the time to visit. Blessings to you and your son.
Riffat Junaid from Pakistan on June 29, 2020:
Nice article you posted very helpful tips. My son is just one year old and I have fear in my heart about let him go to anywhere I thing every parent experience this.
Cindy Lou Dickey on April 18, 2020:
My daughter has been very sheltered life. She a CODA and little different in hearing world. But she has had 1 college semester and now want to intern with major company in another city. How can she live on her own and make it
Fanerm Fanerm on June 29, 2019:
the only thing we can do for our children is to support them on the ways they’ve chosen to develop. in every moment, when they are needed to ask for some help or advice, even when it comes about coursework or college paper (for this case there's https://writemyessayonline.com/ ). and don't forget, they'll be always our children.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on March 21, 2019:
John, I can imagine this hurts very much. You held on tight out of love and fear of letting them grow. It's good that you realize what happened. Forgive yourself and when they are ready to talk, you can express that realization to them as well. Give it some time, maybe send them a card to keep the connection alive. I wish you well, thanks for reading.
John on March 21, 2019:
My daughters moved to their moms while I was at work and I haven’t heard from them in almost 3 months. My oldest is 16 and my twins are 14. They didn’t leave a note and I found out by going to their moms to see what was going on. I think she brainwashed them some because she was saying false accusations about me. I found out my youngest told my niece that they need space and care for me. Being a single father for the 10 years raising them every other week I may have not let them have space and thats maybe why they moved. I am having trouble dealing with this because they won’t talk to me.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on December 25, 2018:
Thanks, MrsEAG. I actually appreciate your detailed post. In spite of your anxiety and fear of letting go, you are doing a good job with your daughter. Take a step back and see that you've done a good enough job that instilled confidence and autonomy. Your daughter is young but trust that she's on the road to independence and you can start letting, slowly but surely. I'm so glad you found this article helpful. I wish you success in your parenting as you move to the next phase of parenthood.
MrsEAG on December 25, 2018:
OMG am I glad I found this site.
I am struggling so much with my now 15-year old daughter wanting to "grow up". For a good many years, she was just scared to death of being treated like a grown-up girl. She would ask me all the time "okay, so I'm still a young girl, right?" It seemed that overnight, this changed, and now she wants me to leave and let be. Before, I was "Mommy" or "Mama", but now both me and my husband are "Mom and "Dad".
I started noticing this change when she started to become more and more curious about getting a learner's permit. Then, it graduated to her not letting me put her hair up in a ponytail anymore or helping her to pick out her clothes for the day. Heaven forbid I remind her of something when I'm dropping her off at school each day. She is a high-school freshman and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown.
She has a younger sister - twelve in April - who she has, without asking for it, become the "older sister with advice". Her little sister - a spitfire who can be enormously temperamental - does not really ask for this advice, and often will push her away when she does it. I hate seeing this, because I don't know how it came about where our older daughter felt it necessary to be the "bigger sister" in the first place.
I am sure a lion's share of my anxiety is because our older daughter has had an IEP ever since she was in Kindergarten, so I worry about her constantly. For eons, she struggled to find her place socially, and tended to keep only to herself in school settings. She is an excellent student, however, with a homework ethic that just blows my mind most days. Things have changed with her in the most noteworthy of ways. In the 6th grade, she struggled mightily with Mathematics, often times sobbing because she couldn't understand what she was trying so hard to master. Nowadays though, she finished out the first half of the 9th grade with a mid "B" in Freshman Algebra. During the 8th grade, she made the "A/B Dean's List". At the end of the 8th grade, she decided she wanted to go to the End-Of-The-Year Dance for her class. When we dropped her off outside the dance that night, my heart walked out the door with her. She didn't have a "group" to go with for this dance, but met up with some girls she had become friendly with throughout the year. The pictures from that dance turn me to mush each time I look at them.
This school year, there is a group she is wanting to become a member of - the "YANA" club. "YANA - "You Are Not Alone" is
a social club at her high school that concerns itself basically with spreading goodness and kindness. It leaves notes on new students' lockers and checks in on kids who seem to be struggling with some issue or another. It was created after a sophomore boy took his life after being scorned by a girl he was sweet on. This boy - on the Autism Spectrum - didn't have the smoothness that other kids may have and didn't know how to ask someone out on a date. He took a stab at it, was rebuffed and later on that day back at his home, shot himself. It broke the hearts of countless people in our community. "YANA" was the result of that tragedy. My 15-year old daughter is probably one of the most kindhearted, generous people I know, so it doesn't surprise me that this is the club she shows the most interest in.
Thanks for reading my lengthy post. I hope to meet other moms who struggle with letting their babies grow up.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on December 16, 2018:
Sounds like you're doing an excellent job with your niece and nephew. I'm so glad to know that this article was helpful to you. Thank you for reading a leaving the insightful and generous comment.
Jason Behm from Cebu, Philippines on December 16, 2018:
Very helpful article. I am not a parent but I have my nephew and niece with me. I treat them like my own children. And I must say, it is really a struggle to balance the "letting go" thing and the "caring" thing. But, as they grow I slowly let them do and discover things but still, I am at their back to remind them of some important values and inject more if necessary. I must say it is a process and every parent must start if they want their child/children grow to the fullest. :)
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 19, 2018:
You're situation is complicated by financial constraints. It seems that you and your children are dependent upon each other financially which makes it difficult to move toward independence. In order for the dynamic between you and your children to change, a major shift in relationships will have to happen. That means one of you will have to decide to step away and become self-reliant. I wish you and your family well. Thanks for reading.
Lilly on August 19, 2018:
I live with my adult children.WE all live together, but seperate, but yet still kind of close.This is due to finances basically. The situation has caused a lot of stress and we can barely talk to one another.I know they would much rather be on their own,I have even tried talking to them about how they might be able to do this.Yet ,its in our best interest to get a house and move ,a house with enough space where they can kind of be somewhat on their own.But,because they have so many issues with each other,and me as well, i'm doubting we can find a big enough place with the small finances we have available now.Neither of them understand how difficult this is for me, none of them really talk to me,when i try to que they shut me down and blame me for our situation , or just try to come up with a worse solution ,like partnering up with another person to get a house. As i have mentioned to them, if they can each find a way to just get theit own small place , that will be best. They honestly dont realy want me around,they tolerate me, but they dont really talk to me.I figure I may as well just live alone.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 07, 2018:
Sounds like she needs more opportunities for autonomy and independence. She may benefit from structured social or recreational activities to increase social skills and interaction with other teens. Look for events in your area either through community listservs, meet-ups, volunteer work, or church groups for her to attend. The bottom line is she may make mistakes or stumble without you but she needs the chance to learn from it. I hope this helps, thanks for reading.
Teen on August 07, 2018:
Hello my 18 year daughter is not matured she is not independent. She dosent know how to act like a adult or to do simple task. For she still acts like a 14 year old. What can i do she is smart but she dosent do anything to learn about being independent. I afraid to let her go out cause she dosent pay attention to anything.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 06, 2018:
It is still early to take it all in, so it's normal to cry for a while. He's your last one to eventually leave home so you're grieving what that means. You will need time to adjust to the void of not having your special "handyman" around. The time will come when your delight about his accomplishments will replace missing him so much. You will realize he's on the right path to becoming an adult and feel so proud of him. Take good care of yourself and let the tears flow as you embrace this major milestone in his life and in yours. Thank you so much for reading this article.
Buffy Trimble on July 04, 2018:
My youngest son just graduated high school last week. I can not stop crying. He has helped so much around the house, never complains. How am I supposed to let him go? I honestly do not see any happiness at all at the end of this. Please help.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on May 29, 2018:
Amen to that, Cynthia. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on May 29, 2018:
Wise counsel... I did the 'empty nest' syndrome decades ago for the last time and can appreciate the sorrow some of the parents express here. But you are right.. soon you can enjoy a freedom that you may not have felt for years.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on May 29, 2018:
I see how this dilemma is breaking your heart. Unfortunately, there's no way to avoid the inevitable pain of making a decision that will affect everyone. But in order to move forward, a major shift must take place. This may include putting other support resources in place before the major move. I wish you peace in your heart and mind with your decision. At the end of the day, both of you will survive and adjust, if given the chance.
Cindy lP on May 26, 2018:
My son is 20, just graduated high school, late because of medical problems. He has been renting the basement apartment in our house for over a year with a friend. But pretty much lives on his own. even though they are down there, he has his own entrance. I hardly ever see him, with work and all. We still pay his car insurance, and he is on our health insurance. I was a single mom for most of his life, along with his little brother who is 17. MY husband wants us to move to Alabama to be closer to his family. My son does not want to go. he has a job waiting tables here, a girlfriend who is going to college. He doesnt want to leave her. He likes his job. I am very torn on what is right. I feel like i am starting to resent the GF, because before her he always wanted to leave here. its a very small town, no hope for a real future. I have always wanted to leave but stayed until he graduated. That was our deal because he didnt want to switch schools in high school. If i move we will be 18 hrs away from him. When i think about leaving him behind i feel like he died, I cant stop crying. He does have health problems, he doesnt want to go to college because high school was such a struggle. I dont feel like he can make it on his own. but he is stubborn, and believes he can do it. he doesnt want to come with us but he doesnt want us to go either. He says he wants us to go because we want to, but he also knows it will hurt and because of that he doesnt want us too. he is a great kid, with a huge heart, but how do I decide? this is breaking my heart. I feel like I am abandoning him. I never though that when he grew up and moved out, that I would be the one leaving and that I would be so far away.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on May 17, 2018:
Your children are still relatively young so I know it must be difficult to imagine that they'll leave one day. But it sounds like it's creating more depression than worry about how you'll handle it in the future. I recommend that you consider seeing your doctor for an evaluation of your symptoms and a good therapist to help you manage the emotions. Thanks for reading.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on May 17, 2018:
Glad you liked the article and that it resonated with you. Maybe your new job is right on time and is meant to give you and your son the opportunity to be less dependent on each other. It sounds like you laid a good foundation for him and he'll be fine. You will have to make more of an adjustment than he, as the caretaker mom you've always been. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to step out into the next phase of development as a parent and let go. It's good preparation for both of you. Trust that you've already provided him with everything he needs to be resourceful and independent. I wish you and your family well, thanks for reading.
Marjankt on May 17, 2018:
Thank you for this article! I am a mom of a 13 year old son. I have telecommuted to work his entire life. My husband previously travelled extensively for his job, which made our relationship more of a single mom/only child type. He no longer travels, but is not as close to our son and feels left out. I was recently laid off and will possibly doing a job with a long commute and off/long hours. I am do afraid if losing our bond and him feeling abandoned at such a critical age/grade. I was miserable in my old job and feel my new one will be something I am called to do. Should I take a job that I don't feel will give me the same satisfaction, but will possibly allow me to be home more? He has friends over all the time and has time to himself, but we are both used to me being right there waiting for anything he needs. Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Grace on May 17, 2018:
I’m having so much trouble accepting that my kids are growing up. They’re only 8&9 and I cry everyday. I carry a lot of guilt because I feel that instead of enjoying every moment with them I just wanted some peace and quiet and escape. Now I’m afraid of all the peace and quiet I’m going to get in the future. I wish I would have had this perspective before. I also feel that I’m barely teaching them the right things and instilling good values. I am truly depressed and I feel like I’m in mourning. I want to enjoy these pure innocent years I have left but the guilt and regrets and pain won’t allow me to.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on May 15, 2018:
It is indeed like separation anxiety and grieving a loss. As your child becomes independent, you're also grieving the role of mother which gave you purpose. As your child pulls away, you'll need to find other roles and activities to create purpose and fulfilment in your life. Only time will allow you to adjust to the void. It's gut-wrenching and won't be easy. But you will get through it as parents do everyday. I wish you best, thank you for reading this article.
TINA on May 15, 2018:
I am having a difficult time of letting go of my oldest who is graduating early and starting her college career. Everyday is a struggle and all I think of is ..what ifs. This has now made it where sge is pulling away from me and has become quite with all yhese collge plans. As before she would talk to me and we went to see colleges etc. ... how can u deal as a mother with auch a big change. I feel it to be like seperation anexity or grievance for a loss. Its an aweful feeling.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on May 11, 2018:
I hear your frustration. You will decrease your irritation by setting a boundary with how you share with your mom. Provide the facts without expecting approval or acceptance. As you said, your mom will always be overprotective. But you no longer have to engage in the discourse. You only have control over how you engage with her and how you respond. Thanks for reading.
Shiquita on May 10, 2018:
My mother is and has always been overprotective, I told her that im going to VI for a day on my bday week and vacation week from my job, she assumed that i wouldn't have any money or plans to go on when i get there! Then hung up on me when i was offened that she could think i could be irresponsible like that in my late 30s she treats me as if im a child still and it's very irritating. I don't even like to tell her anything out of fear of her getting worked up and telling news stories of what happened to other people when they did the same or making me listen to her cheer on her hair customers children for living their lives! I don't get it, i work for the airlines, i want to travel!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on April 20, 2018:
When you see that they are able to survive and thrive without you, you'll be able to trust that they will be okay. But you have to give them that chance. I recommend you find a good therapist to help you address your fears and relinquish control. I wish you well. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
Shereeb on April 19, 2018:
I'm having a really hard time right now. I have two kids which one almost died at birth, and now has cerebral palsy. My kids are 21 and 22. I have been very close to them. I will always be. My son wants to go away for 2 and half days to the beach. I literally have cried every single day. I find it hard and impossible to let go. I don't know whats wrong with me. My kids are really good kids. I'm not just saying that either. My problem is everything that could happen or go wrong goes through my mind. I feel like I'm gonna end up in he hospital. I'm having a very hard time. I love these kids so much. They are my world... I could never let anybody babysit them, I hardly ever let them stay away from home, and when I did I hardly slept. But I think the time has come where I'm gonna have to let go. I just don't know how I'm gonna survive it.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on April 13, 2018:
Your worry is justified and expected. Parents will always worry out of love, fear, and concern. However, parents eventually have to let go in order for grown children to make their own decisions, which isn't always the best decision. I wish you peace in your heart.
Nicole on April 13, 2018:
I'm facing having a difficult time letting go to an extent. I had no problem with letting go for college and all. But when my daughter started doing poorly in school, had to come back after a year, was smoking marijuana and character changed I got worried. I no longer trusted her judgement because she had been lying to me. She's in a toxic relationship with someone and doesn't know how to let go. She feels she's fine but has been under observation in the hospital or hurting herself,and suffers from anxiety now. She says i dont want to lwt her go. Its not that, im just worried.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on March 17, 2018:
What you're going through is normal. It was a good first step to share it here. Sounds like making an appointment with a good therapist would be your next step. I hope the article was helpful with getting you on your way to support. I wish you the best.
Ross on March 17, 2018:
My son is 2. Almost 3. We just took his pacifier and since we did I am legitimately sad. I work about 60 hours a week and my kids are my life. My wife and I have a fantastic relationship. It's just destroying me. My little boy is growing up and it's breaking my heart. I'll think of him growing through the day and just cry. I don't know to deal with this. I always know how to handle everything. I woke up this morning and couldn't give him his pacifier and I broke out in tears. I won't hold my son back because I'm scared of him growing up. I'll always put my family ahead of me in every way but this hurts. I literally ache with sadness when I think about my little boy not being a little boy which I know is far off but not far enough. Is this normal? I try to stay focused on how amazing my kids are and how awesome he is and how proud he makes me. It's just different for me. I really am looking for somebody to talk to. I've talked with my wife but she isn't able to help me here. I don't know what I need or what I'm looking for but like I said this is crushing me.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 24, 2018:
Amiratnakhil on February 23, 2018:
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 15, 2018:
Very sad story indeed. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.
bluelove on January 15, 2018:
I know someone who didnt let her sons get a driving license. Her sons were in their 20's not working, or going to college. She homeschooled, but I dont think it was much. One son got a job waiting tables, and his mom would drive 20-30 minutes to bring him to work, and then go get him in 5 hrs.! When the oldest got close to 30, the dad FINALLY put his foot down, and said the ADULT had to move. Guess what the mom did? Sent him to live with her mother!!!These boys have been psychologically abused, by a mom whose need to be needed came before her sons! Also, the parents are hoarders, you can hardly walk in their house! Sad, very sad.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on December 21, 2017:
Thanks for taking the time to read, glad you liked it. I suggest you discuss with a family counselor how to blend the best of both parenting styles instead of feeling at odds. Your flexibility and your wife's structure may work well as a parent team, alternating what works best depending on the need. Good luck and keep up the good parenting.
slickdesi74 on December 21, 2017:
Great Article, my dilemma is the parents differ on allowing children to grow, I grew up in a home where my parents allowed me the freedom to explore and travel, my wife was more keep children at home and keep distractions away. My wife and I fight constantly on how to allow children their own space. They are two boys and ages 13 and 15. I provide them support both emotionally, financially, and academically. When the kids want space I discuss their plan and confirm who they are with and what they do, then I trust him to do what he needs. The wife wants to control the tv, phone time, recreation because it's too much. do you have a hybrid solution?
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 30, 2017:
Sounds like you're on the right track with "distancing" yourself. But it's making you uncomfortable. Keep setting good boundaries consistently as you embrace your autonomy from being parented, without feeling the need to wean her. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment/inquiry. I'm glad you found it helpful.
Margaret on November 30, 2017:
Thank you for writing this. As the (27 year old) daughter, this article rings so true. I would love your advice or thoughts on how to bring this to the attention of my mother. We've gone to therapy, but I still very often feel her need to over-parent, advise me, warn me about things, influence my decisions, etc. Although I am independent and living out of state, I feel her attachment to being my parent all the time. It's like something I can't fulfill that I need her to find on her own. It makes me distance myself. Would love your thoughts, thank you!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 30, 2017:
You're quite welcome! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Yuliss on November 30, 2017:
Nice read! I liked taking the poll and viewing the results. Psychology/sociology is very interesting to me, thanks for an informative post with references included!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on October 23, 2017:
It's hard not to worry, no matter how old they get. Thanks, Emily, for stopping by and reading the article.
Emily0115 on October 23, 2017:
One reason why we can't let go of our teens is because we're not confident that they know enough about life skills. We worry about them.
I found this site www.preparemykid.com. I got a Life Skills checklist and a video on how to teach kids life skills. The checklist had about 30 or so skills that I could teach. It was really helpful.
They have video lessons and both my kids (13 and 16) like the videos because they are short and funny.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 10, 2017:
Chris, thanks so much for sharing your story about your daughter. I cannot imagine how difficult and painful it must be for you as she appears to have individuated abruptly, i.e., exert her independence. She may also be making it difficult because it's painful for her, too. You are on the right track with letting go. I wish you the best, take it a day at a time.
Chris on September 09, 2017:
I'm guilty of holding on too long. My daughter and I have been together for 26 years, me a single mother, and her attending 7 1/2 years of college while living st home.
She moved 3 hours away 2 years ago, but very dependent on me on how to set up a new house and many other adulting things such as what dish to bring to a potluck, what should she wear on a date, etc. So while I definitely grieved hard because of the physical distance between us, we talked several times a day during which I laid out all kinds of advice on every issue. I'm not gonna lie, I was worried she could not survive without me. I still had her let me know when she was home at night.
Now suddenly, all the rules have changed. She has told me she doesn't want any more advice unless she specifically asks. She suddenly acts as though I've not got things so together - quite a lot of insults.
I am glad to know she is ready to take on all aspects of running her house and making decisions but it is painful how suddenly the change occurred and unsure why she is being so harsh. I know now, I held on too long but I can't help but feel as though I've been fired. It's a very lonely feeling. I'm going to try and build a new life but it's very hard.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 04, 2017:
Sounds like you're really thinking ahead and have a good plan, Andrea. Glad you found the article helpful. I wish you well.
Andrea on September 04, 2017:
I really appreciate this article as my kids are starting to grow up and I am looking to try and let go. It is really so hard after bonding with them to see them transform and to think of all the not so nice people out there. I can only pray that I have done an adequate job. I am starting to prepare psychologically for it and hope I can move on gracefully to the next stage in their development.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 03, 2017:
Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your point of view.
say so on September 02, 2017:
what a horrible article.
it brings out all those stupid enmeshed parenting.
For example why would a parent cry because their child is going to college.... sick parenting that is why.
when a child is going to college they need even more attention than when they were breastfeeding. this is because they are walking into the world of religious cultists and drug dealers. its the time the parent should even be more involved if you do not want your daughter prostituting herself to buy nice clothes from older monied men who haunt these places. instead of crying a healthy parent is involved healthily in their child's growth.
this article makes me so sick.
Many adults are not equipped to parent a rat and they call themselves parents.
Medeo on June 20, 2017:
This was bad don't do it
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 13, 2017:
You're very welcome, Irma. Sounds like you're already doing a great job. In this day and age, your fear is appropriate. But with the limits you have set, half the battle of letting go has been won. Thank you so much for reading this article, glad to know you found it helpful.
Irma on February 13, 2017:
I have a 13 yr old only child, its been realy hard for me to start letting him go out with his friends even just to go to the mall to watch a movie, he claims I'm too overprotected and that he needs to grow up, I'm just scared of all the dangers out there. So I do let him go but of course there are limits because of his age and have communication. I told him if he acts responsabily he can have more freedom and that he needs to earn my trust to let go more. Thank you for the article very helpful.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 03, 2017:
You are so very welcome, Carolyn. Holidays are the most difficult time when a loved one is away, especially a child for the first time. The reality hits hard when traditions are broken, making the break all the more painful. I hope the article helped you through it, just a little. Both of you passed a great milestone. The good thing is that you do recognize your reward in that he is growing up. I wish you peace and blessings for your family in the new year.
Carolyn on January 03, 2017:
My 18 yr old and 1st to leave nest went off to university in Sept and then told us he was going travelling for Christmas/New year. It broke my heart but knew it was what he wanted and needed to do. Letting go is by far the hardest and most challenging aspect of parenting. He had such a great time and it was truly amazing to see him blossom so that is my reward. Just hope he's home with us next Christmas lol, thank you for your article, very close to my heart.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 10, 2016:
Oh, Michelle. What you're feeling is so real, let the tears flow. You have to get through, a day at a time, and trust that the natural process of letting go has to happen. Make sure to find other nurturing activities to fill your time. You'll be fine, hang in there. Thanks for stopping by and reading this article. I hope it helps. I appreciate your visit and comment.
Michelle on February 10, 2016:
I feel like my world is about to end with a son turning 18 in a little more than a week and graduates soon after. I will repeat this process next year with my daughter. All I can do is cry.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on March 02, 2015:
You're right, aesta1, it's an adjustment. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 01, 2015:
Letting go is always difficult and to decide when with kids is a challenge. Maybe, the relationship changes but there is never a letting go. Well done!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 17, 2014:
Very touching comment, olog. Thanks for reading, glad to know it validated your experience.
ologsinquito from USA on November 17, 2014:
This is an excellent article that I can certainly relate to. It was very hard letting go and watching one of my children go off to college. However, on the other hand, he was ready to go and I could he was ready. I'll never forget the day he actually got in the car and left for school.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 08, 2014:
I'm so glad to hear that, grand old lady. It is my pleasure to help. It really makes me feel good that I've made a difference for someone with this article. Thank you also for enlightening me about the struggle in Filipino culture regarding this topic. I appreciate your visit and generous comments.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on September 08, 2014:
The last two points you made are particularly useful. In the Philippines, it's not uncommon for grown children to still live at home, sometimes even after they have married. Mostly, it's because of economics. A basic salary won't buy you an apartment and furnishings or even a car on installment. So the challenge is having a child who is 23 in your house, and giving her the space she needs to let go. I realize I never had a mourning period and my husband and I have to go through that. Also, rebuilding a different relationship is most helpful advice. Thank you for your wisdom. It's so hard to research a topic like this on google and finally, after a few years, this article comes up. It's so helpful.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 06, 2014:
Glad you enjoyed the poem, Treasuresofheaven. Thank you for stopping by and reading this one which so many parents can relate to at this time of year. I appreciate the votes, too.
Sima Ballinger from Michigan on August 06, 2014:
This was a good read and good information. Our kids do know more than we give them credit. My oldest son, who commutes to college, needs to be more independent than we have allowed him. He is going to make a big change before the summer is over - and I applaud him. I enjoyed the poem, it was very inspiring. Up and Useful!!!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 17, 2014:
Well said, Raine. I appreciate your visit and comments.
Raine Law Yuen from Cape Town on July 17, 2014:
interesting hub. I think it gets easier with the second child. I often hear my children commenting about what a child said to the kids in their class about their own parents when they feel overprotected. also that parents should keep in mind that when children feel smothered they may start to resent you. I guess the trick is to keep a balance. To trust that your child knows best what is right for themselves. Just think back to when you were a child.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on May 05, 2014:
I appreciate your feedback, Anita Saran. Culture definitely plays a role in the course of a child developing into an adult. Thank you for stopping by and reading. I wish you the best with your son.
Anita Saran from Bangalore, India on May 05, 2014:
Nice hub janshares. My son is 21 and going to college and it's time for him to move out on his own. Relatives think that's callous but I think it's essential for his development as an independent adult. In India, we tend to latch on to our children longer.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on April 04, 2014:
Thank you very much! :-)
Geri MIleff from Czech Republic on April 04, 2014:
Very useful article. Great job! :)
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 11, 2014:
You're welcome, swilliams. Glad you related to it. I know it's easier said than done. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
swilliams on February 10, 2014:
This is a tough one Jan. I faced letting my daughter go. She married young I like my new son-in-law but it was a hard adjustment. Thanks for the useful article! Very Well Done!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 12, 2014:
Thank you, AMF, for reading and sharing your experience with coming into your own with your parents. I do hope it helps someone else take a confident stand and maintain a good relationship with their parents.
Aldene Fredenburg from Southwestern New Hampshire on January 12, 2014:
Janis, I had a situation with my parents that took me years to to figure out. They would invite me over for supper and then tag-team me, leveling all kinds of criticism at me; I got to the point where I stayed away for several months. Then I decided, this is ridiculous; I can't stay away from them for the rest of my life; I need to figure this out. The next time I saw them they started in again, and I said, mildly, "I disagree; I think I'm doing a really good job handling things under some difficult circumstances." They stared at me like I had two heads. After that, whenever they said something critical or hurtful, I would say calmly, "I disagree," and then say something positive about myself. They very quickly got the message that I wasn't going to accept their criticism, and it stopped. I don't know if this will work for you, but it might be worth a shot.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 11, 2014:
Very powerful what you've expressed here, Kristine. I appreciate you sharing about what this hub has triggered for you. It is so important for children to become free and independent and not full of resentment. My heart goes out to you. I hope you make time for yourself. Thank you for reading this hub.
Kristine Manley from Atlanta, GA on January 11, 2014:
Janis, this is a wonderful Hub. I am over 40 and currently care for my Mom. I find it difficult at times because she lets things come out of her mouth to me like she is talking to a 12 year-old, and I snap back. Unfortunately my brother has passed away, and my sister stays clear, so I'm stuck. My Mom never retired from anywhere, she just went on vacation and never went back to work, and all she has is less than 1,000 dollars a month social security - she made no preparation for her future. She is unable to live on her own. I encourage all parents to give much space to their children so later on they will not resent them.
Rebecca Furtado from Anderson, Indiana on September 28, 2013:
Very nice hub. I can relate to those feelings of the empty nest. I just sent my youngest off to live on campus. I am resisting the urge to call more than once a week.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 17, 2013:
Thank you for those comments. I really appreciate your taking time to stop by and read it.
Paula from The Midwest, USA on September 17, 2013:
This is an important topic to discuss. People often don't plan for it I think. I recall hearing it spoken of when my son was in preschool, for the first time. I mean talking about letting kids go, raising them up knowing there will be times to let go. I think that helped me some. It is hard now, as mine are getting so big, and this world is a pretty scary place. Thanks for sharing.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 15, 2013:
Thank you for sharing those wonderful comments about your experience. It sounds like you've done an excellent job with your children. I appreciate your stopping by and reading this hub.
LongTimeMother from Australia on July 15, 2013:
I have had such an exciting, challenging and rewarding adult life that I am excited for my children to have the same opportunities. Even at an early age I started talking about "when you're an adult ...".
My adult children make me very proud, and I am sure my youngest will do the same when she leaves home. What makes me most proud is the way they face the world with confidence and a determination to make the most of every day. :)
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 06, 2013:
Thank you, Rosetta, for your wisdom-filled comment. I appreciate your visit.
Rosetta on July 06, 2013:
As a great grandmother with 3 generations under me, I learned early to tell my children, that things happen everyday, some difficult and some easy. Learn to change those that you can and live with those you can't. It is called LIFE. I learned and they learned, I am still learning as they are also and LIFE is great. Thank you so much for sharing this and I especially love the poem.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 05, 2013:
Of course, you are absolutely right, DDE. You never truly let go. I hope this article will help parents to live better with the new relationship with their children and not grieve for too long.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 05, 2013:
Letting go for me was not hard but for my husband yes, off-course he is still my lovely baby and twenty it may sound ridiculous deep dow parents still look at their children as babies even when grown up it is always some little concern that makes you want to feel at ease
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 03, 2013:
You're welcome, toptengamer. I appreciate your visit and taking time to read it. Glad it resonated with you.
Brandon Hart from The Game on July 03, 2013:
It's hard sometimes isn't it as in some ways it's so easy to be controlling when that's not always the best for them. As a parent of 4 children I appreciate your insight!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 03, 2013:
Thanks for liking the poem, tobusiness. That means a lot coming from you. :-)
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 03, 2013:
Ha ha, thanks for that, Mhatter. Glad you stopped by.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 03, 2013:
Thank you very much, jabelufiroz, and for taking the time to read it.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 03, 2013:
You've summed it up perfectly, Faith Reaper. Thanks for your visit and votes, grateful for the sharing.
Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on July 03, 2013:
A wonderful hub, letting go will always be a tough thing to do, but let go we must. I loved the poem, especially the last couplet.
Martin Kloess from San Francisco on July 03, 2013:
Thank you for this. For me it was easy, as mine were so screwed up. But my mom needed money once in a while.
Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 02, 2013:
Oops, that should be cord! Cut the cord.
Sorry for the faux pas there!
God bless, Faith Reaper
Firoz from India on July 02, 2013:
Informative hub on Parental Attachment. Voted up.
- Focus on what you can control. ...
- Respond dont react. ...
- Respond in a new way. ...
- Allow people to make their own (good or bad) decisions.
- Dont give advice or tell people what they should do.
- Dont obsess about other peoples problems.
- Set emotional boundaries by letting others know how to treat you.
And hopefully they'll work for you too.
- Treat them like an adult, but don't trust them too much. ...
- Let them gradually have more freedoms. ...
- Keep an open mind. ...
- Talk to them. ...
- Let go.
There is nothing wrong with being sentimental but if you are tired of feeling sad, try imagining a fun and exciting future. It's easy to imagine your kids growing up having exciting new experiences, meeting new people and discovering new adventures.Do happy babies grow up to be happy adults? ›
Among the Baby Boomers and Generation X, people who had higher levels of emotional wellbeing during childhood and adolescence were more likely to report being satisfied with life when they reached adulthood.What is parental burnout? ›
“Parental burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. It leaves parents feeling chronically fatigued, often experiencing sleep and concentration problems, and it can lead to depression, chronic anxiety, and illness.”At what age do kids detach from parents? ›
Adolescence (starting 9–13) is the Age of Detachment Parenting. Here the goal is for parents to foster a young person's basic trust in independence and self-reliance, to be able to count upon one's self.How do you let go of a child you love? ›
- Talk openly and honestly to your children about your feelings. ...
- Help your children plan their independent future. ...
- Share your wisdom, but let your children make their own decisions.
“According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids are not ready to walk to school alone until about fifth grade or around age 10.”What is an enabling parent? ›
What is an enabler? This is essentially anyone who makes it easier for an addict to obtain or use their substance of choice or doesn't allow the person to face consequences. In the case of the parent, this usually means looking the other way while their child uses drugs or alcohol.How do you gain respect from grown children? ›
- Respect your children. ...
- Respect their mother. ...
- Be consistent. ...
- Follow through. ...
- Spend more time teaching love than teaching rules. ...
- Live with integrity. ...
- Be a family. ...
- Be a leader.
Point out Ungratefulness
When you hear your child say or do something that shows an ungrateful attitude, point it out. Be specific without being insulting. For instance, avoid saying something like, “Stop being a brat.” Instead, say something like, “Complaining about not getting more presents is ungrateful.
- Babies stare into your eyes. We've all been told staring is rude, but when babies stare, it's downright adorable. ...
- They recognize your smell. ...
- They smile at you. ...
- They talk to you. ...
- They want you around. ...
- They share your interests. ...
- They use you as a shield. ...
- They give cuddles and kisses.
Experiencing regret about having kids can be a lonely, difficult experience. It's important to realize that you aren't alone, and that not every parent finds having children a fulfilling or rewarding experience. You are not a bad person if you experience regret.What age do kids cry most? ›
Babies cry a lot in their first 3 months. On average, babies cry and fuss for almost 2 hours a day, and around 1 in 10 babies cry for a lot longer than this. Crying usually reaches a peak at about 6 weeks of age and then gradually lessens to approximately an hour a day by 12 weeks of age.What are the 5 happiest babies? ›
It just so happens that there is one bundle of tricks known as the “5 S's.” Pediatrician Harvey Karp pioneered this method when he brought together five techniques that mothers have often used and organized them into this easy mnemonic: swaddle, side-stomach position, shush, swing, and suck.Are parents happier with one child or two? ›
Here, researchers tracked people over 20 years and found that parents were actually happier after the birth of their second baby. With their first child, life satisfaction dipped for several years, then increased to levels higher than before. But a second child steadily increased happiness.Are 2 child families happier? ›
Child number two or three doesn't make a parent happier. And, for mothers, he found, more children appear to make them less happy—although they are happier than childless women. For dads, additional children had no effect on their well-being in his study.Which parenting years are the hardest? ›
It's no wonder then that research finds that the hardest years of parenting are the tween, (or middle school if you're in the USA) years. They may be less physically exhausting than the early years, but emotionally they are so much more exhausting.What age is the most difficult to parent? ›
Forget the terrible twos and prepare for the hateful eights ‒ parents have named age 8 as the most difficult age to parent, according to new research. Eight being the troublesome year likely comes as a surprise to many parents, especially since parents polled found age 6 to be easier than they expected.What are signs of toxic parenting? ›
- They're self-centered. They don't think about your needs or feelings.
- They're emotional loose cannons. They overreact, or create drama.
- They overshare. They share improper info with you, like details about their intimate lives. ...
- They seek control. ...
- They're harshly critical. ...
- They lack boundaries.
The period that a baby uses to select a primary attachment figure stretches from 2 to over 12 months, with most infants making up their minds in the period between 3 and 7 months. The baby will focus on the person who is most often there for them when needed and who most often gets it right.Can a child be too attached to a parent? ›
Excessive attachment places unrealistic demands on one parent while making the other feel hurt. Your child might also learn that he can get what he wants by whining and crying, or be made to feel guilty because you want him to gush over you, too.How does a mother leaving affect a child? ›
Studies have shown that if a child suddenly loses a parent, either through death, abandonment, or a prolonged separation, the child experiences intense fear, panic, grief (a combination of sadness and loss), depression, helplessness and hopelessness. The child has lost his lifeline, and often his sense of self.What is a mommy syndrome? ›
Mommy guilt syndrome (MGS) is a special exception to the rule. In this extreme type of useless and plaguing guilt, one is able to feel guilty over such things as eating, hygiene, exercise, sleep, emptying of the bladder and a barrage of other necessary daily functions.What is an enmeshed mother? ›
In an enmeshed relationship, a mother provides her daughter love and attention but tends to exploit the relationship, fortifying her own needs by living through her daughter. They both grow to depend on this type of arrangement, despite its dysfunction.What kind of parenting causes codependency? ›
The two parenting styles that breed codependency are overprotective and underprotective. Both hinder a child's development of a healthy sense of independence, but are very opposite in their presentation in dysfunctional households.What are the signs of trauma in a child? ›
Traumatic experiences can initiate strong emotions and physical reactions that can persist long after the event. Children may feel terror, helplessness, or fear, as well as physiological reactions such as heart pounding, vomiting, or loss of bowel or bladder control.How do I get my passion back after my child? ›
- 161 shares. ...
- Retell your love story to one another and, if possible, revisit the places within it. ...
- Listen to your favorite love songs together or watch a movie. ...
- Watch your partner do something they are good at or ask them to talk about why they have so much passion for it.
At around 23-26 months, your child may start practicing alignment by imitating you if you line up a few blocks end-to-end, in a row. This is an exercise in precision, a brand new skill for your toddler. Imitating your row of blocks (keep it in their view) with their own will take practice and patience.What time should a 14 year old go to bed? ›
For teenagers, Kelley says that, generally speaking, 13- to 16-year-olds should be in bed by 11.30pm.
Finally, it's important that parents not place too many of their own social expectations on children. Dr. Rooney advises keeping things in perspective. “Kids need just one or two good friends.What is a dysregulated parent? ›
In addition, a parent who has emotional dysregulation will also struggle to teach their child how to regulate emotions. Since children are not naturally born with emotional regulation coping skills, having a parent who cannot model effective coping puts a child at risk for emotional dysregulation themselves.What are the 3 enabling environment for a child? ›
One of these principles is Enabling Environments. My space offers support and inspiration to help practitioners put this principle into practice. This booklet considers the environment under 3 separate headings: The Emotional Environment The Indoor Environment The Outdoor Environment.When should you stop financially supporting your child? ›
Kids and parents often have different ideas about when support should stop. In the Money poll, parents helping adult children generally believed kids should be independent by age 25, but acknowledged that in their own situation, 30 was more likely. Young adults put those ages at 27 and 32, respectively.What causes a child to be disrespectful? ›
Disrespectful behavior often comes down to kids having poor problem-solving skills and a lack of knowledge about how to be more respectful as they pull away. Often when kids separate from you they do it all wrong before they learn how to do it right.What is a toxic mother daughter relationship? ›
One common way toxic mothers overstep boundaries with their daughters is by micromanaging their lives. If your mother continues to dictate your appearance, career, or romantic choices, or even meddles in your life long after you've reached adulthood, that is a sign of toxicity.What happens when a child doesn't feel loved? ›
If they are in a situation where they do not receive normal love and care, they cannot develop this close bond. This may result in a condition called attachment disorder. It usually happens to babies and children who have been neglected or abused, or who are in care or separated from their parents for some reason.How do you raise a happiest child? ›
- Get Happy Yourself.
- Teach Them To Build Relationships.
- Expect Effort, Not Perfection.
- Teach Optimism.
- Teach Emotional Intelligence.
- Form Happiness Habits.
- Teach Self-Discipline.
- More Playtime.
“Children who are not raised in safe, loving, respectful, and consistent environments tend to grow up feeling very unsafe and untrusting,” explains Manly. As a result, they tend to experience challenges trusting themselves and others throughout life.How do you deal with a disrespectful defiant child? ›
- Do not become angry. ...
- Make sure everyone is safe. ...
- Do not punish. ...
- Acknowledge your child's anger. ...
- Ask questions to understand the source of anger. ...
- Offer help. ...
- Teach emotional regulation skills. ...
- Teach how to express objections respectfully.
- Take Small Steps. Growing up doesn't happen all at once. ...
- Educate Them. It's easier to let go if you know that you have given your children the tools and knowledge that they need to keep themselves safe. ...
- Enjoy a New Relationship. ...
- Follow Their Rules. ...
- Build a Safe Home Environment.
- Stay busy. When the kids leave, focus on things you enjoy doing or that need to be taken care of before they come home. ...
- Reach out for support. ...
- Don't pass your anxiety to your child. ...
- Give yourself space for your feelings. ...
- Practice relaxation techniques.
- Unwind. Spend half an hour each evening doing something you enjoy. ...
- Seeing other people can help relieve stress. ...
- Make time for your partner, if you have one. ...
- Express yourself. ...
- Accept help. ...
- Relax – being a parent is the one thing that nobody is perfect at.
You and Your Baby's Emotional Connection
Research has shown that, during pregnancy, your baby feels what you feel—and with the same intensity. That means if you're crying, your baby feels the same emotion, as if it's their own.
But many first-time parents find that after the first month of parenthood, it can actually get more difficult. This surprising truth is one reason many experts refer to a baby's first three months of life as the “fourth trimester.” If months two, three, and beyond are tougher than you expected, you're not alone.What happens to a high needs baby? ›
When left to entertain themselves, a high needs baby becomes agitated, tense, and cries incessantly until they're picked up. These babies tend to be extremely active. They're always moving around, whether they're being held or sitting in a playpen. They might also move frequently in their sleep.What are the stages of empty nest syndrome? ›
In general, empty-nest syndrome is a process with three distinct stages: grief, relief, then joy, says social psychologist Carin Rubenstein, author of “Beyond the Mommy Years: How to Live Happily Ever After . . .Why do mothers have separation anxiety? ›
Maternal separation anxiety can also be caused by other common concerns: Pre-existing mental health conditions. Anxiety and depression developed as a result of pregnancy. Postpartum mental health disorders.Do mothers suffer from separation anxiety? ›
If you're a mom, chances are high that you've experienced some degree of maternal separation anxiety at some point.How do I not miss my child? ›
- Make plans for when you'll see your child. Think about what you can do together.
- Try to keep a positive relationship with your ex-partner. This will make it less stressful for you and your child.
- Focus on your wellbeing and try to stay fit and healthy. ...
- Make plans and spend time on things you enjoy.
Older parents are generally less at risk for depression than younger ones. Parents still in their early 20s appear to have the hardest time because they are struggling with their own move from adolescence to adulthood while at the same time learning to be parents.What is depleted mother syndrome? ›
We're depleted Over time, mothers become physically, emotionally and mentally drained of nutrients, strength and vitality. Psychologist Rick Hanson coined the phrase “depleted mother syndrome” and emphasizes how important it is to regain the strength we need to be there for ourselves and to manage our care-giving role.What is mom anxiety? ›
Postpartum anxiety is excessive worrying that occurs after childbirth or adoption. People with postpartum anxiety may feel consumed with worry and constantly nervous or panicked. If you or someone you know has symptoms of postpartum anxiety, get help from a healthcare provider immediately.Do babies know when their mom is crying? ›
Studies have shown that infants as young as one month-old sense when a parent is depressed or angry and are affected by the parent's mood. Understanding that even infants are affected by adult emotions can help parents do their best in supporting their child's healthy development.What are four harmful maternal behaviors that can affect the developing child? ›
Most expectant women are warned that drinking alcohol, smoking and even eating unpasteurized cheeses can have serious consequences for the growth and development of their unborn children.Can mothers stress affect baby? ›
Some studies show that high levels of stress in pregnancy may cause certain problems during childhood, like having trouble paying attention or being afraid. It's possible that stress also may affect your baby's brain development or immune system.