Accepting When Your Children Grow Up
Accepting that your children will one day grow up is no easy task. On the one hand, we're happy for them to gain their independence. On the other, we feel sad that they no longer need us. Accepting this reality is the first step to facing it.
Accepting that your children grow up is very hard. However, you must learn that time passes and that they’ll one day become independent.
In this article, we’ll provide some advice on how to deal with this difficult stage of parenthood.
Accepting that children grow up
Most parents say they wish their children could stay little forever. At a young age, children need their parents and their main hardships are tying their shoes or breaking their favorite toy.
As a first step, we must accept that all children inevitably grow up. They grow from children into teenagers and then eventually move on to become adults. When this happens, it’s normal for them to leave home, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
Growing up is a complicated stage in a child’s youth. Autonomy is combined with hormonal changes and the rebellion of not asking for help. This is the first “break” in the lives of parents.
Some years later, that son who is still seemingly vulnerable to us, decides to live alone, marry or move abroad. We can’t believe that time has passed so quickly! It seems like it was just yesterday when he came into the world, took his first steps, or had his first day of school.
It’s necessary to accept that at some point, your children will leave home and start a family of their own. This doesn’t mean you should overthink this subject when your child is still just a baby – but do try to get used to the idea once he’s a teenager.
This way, when the time presents itself, you’ll be more ready. Not completely, however, as there will always be that conflict between happiness and sadness.
When the time comes, you’ll be happy when they decide to leave home, but you’ll also be distressed because they won’t need you like before. We’re not going to lie, this can be one of the most painful moments of parenthood. It’s a test that must be overcome, and the perfect opportunity to start thinking about yourself.
As stated earlier, being prepared for this moment can greatly reduce the so-called “empty nest syndrome.” Not many parents prepare themselves for when their children leave home because inside they hope that this never happens.
How to face this phase of life
You shouldn’t view this stage of life as something negative or distressing, but quite the opposite. Maybe since you’ve had children, you haven’t had a weekend or even an afternoon for yourself. Now you’ll have more free time!
Maybe you’ve been waiting for your children to be more independent to go back to school, go on a trip, or visit your friends more often. The moment is now!
If you’re a couple, you’ll appreciate the intimacy that you may have lacked for so long. Of course, it’s a two-person job to accept that your children will grow up and that the house is now empty. The first few months will be strange and you may feel somewhat disoriented.
However, as is commonly said, people are “creatures of habit” and you’ll end up accepting this new stage of your life. In it, you can and must think of yourself and your needs.
Your children are making their way and forging their own destiny, just as you did not too long ago. And beyond the hackneyed phrase, you must accept this is a natural part of life, and learn to see the positive side of this change.