They say that once you become a parent, you’ll always be a parent. But what happens when the time comes for your kids to fly the nest? How do you let go then?
My son has only just turned 12, but even I have started to realise how different things are. He has his own opinions; answers back; has friends I haven’t met. He constantly talks about how much he wants to become an adult and about how he’ll drive me around and repay me for the (endless) lifts I give him.
As a mother, I don’t want his repayments. And I’ll be damned if I let my son drive me around – he can’t even manoeuvre the Wii remote properly, for goodness sake. But I can’t help but wonder how I will feel once he starts going out, once he graduates, once he finds a significant other and leaves home – not necessarily in that order, mind you.
So I did a bit of research to find what the experts have to say.
The following is what I found and which might be helpful for parents out there:
Give Them Freedom; Be There To Help Them Get Back Up:
I was,and still am, a soul searcher. I try things, read, go out and meet new people all the time – and I still don’t feel like I’ve truly found myself. So can you imagine how a young adult feels? Giving your child enough freedom to find him / herself by trying out new things (some of which you may not agree with) and letting them grow in their own way is vital. Your job as a parent is to be there when things don’t work out. There will be times when you’ll want to strangle them or kick them out of the house, but instead you’ll be their saviour – and they’ll love you for it!
Listen: Instead of constantly telling them off or getting angry with them, listen. Some things will make sense, others won’t, but either way it will be relevant to their life. The more you listen, the more you will know, and that means that you can keep an eye on them even when you’re not around. As for advice, give it, but remember: most kids will only take the advice they want to hear. And that’s fine, if they make a mistake, follow step number one.
Believe In Them: We all get lost. We all make mistakes. We all screw up. And we all say things we mean one minute and regret the next. Believe that they will turn out fine, because chances are that they will. Be happy for them when they succeed, and comfort them when they don’t. Be the parent you would have wanted your parents to be: understanding, selfless, strict but within reason, and they will appreciate it.
Become Their Friend: Would you hang out with someone who constantly tells you off, who doesn’t care about your opinion, who doesn’t side with you? I don’t think so. To be their friend, you need to let go of your parental instincts and think differently. Whether you like it or not, your child has become an adult so treat him / her as one. Let your kids be responsible for their actions, but give a helping hand whenever and however you can.
What do you think of Evelyn’s points? Do you agree with her suggestions? Have you been through something similar or are you going through it now? Let us know in the comments’ section below.