I am struggling at the moment. I am struggling with my children becoming young adults, I am struggling with stepping back and letting go.
Today I stopped.
I had to.
I don't know what else to do, I can't send them to their rooms, or confiscate their phone or ground them!!
Sometimes there is nothing else you can do.
I stopped and I asked “what can I do, what am I meant to? How can I make them see things my way? Surely I am not in the wrong here.”
You want them to want you
You want them to need you
You want them to like you
You want them to learn from you, to look to you for guidance, even maybe permission.
They want to be independent
They want to learn their own lessons
They want to self sufficient
They want to find their wings, their tribe, their world, they want to decide for themselves.
You dig in and so do they and during these times battles ensue.
You are both right and therefore you see the other as wrong.
But there is no wrong, there are just differences, perceptions and change.
There is growth
There is separation, inevitable necessary separation
A part of you screams but “I’ve given them my all the best of me, the best years of my life. I’ve given so much to them!”
If you stop I hear the whisper from within you will gain clarity. Hear it now it whispers to you “but you dear you gave it willingly. You gave it freely you can’t now put a price on what you gave so enthusiastically.”
Their growth. Their development. Their independence can be a gift if you allow it be. If you decide it to be.
It isn’t about the validity of all you have done it is now about the importance of what you will now do, of how graciously you step into your new exciting role and sometimes the only way to do that is to step back and ask yourself what sort of relationship you now wish to build. What do you choose it to be built on, how do you choose it to look and feel?
You are all adults now but they are still growing into that identity. You have your identity and it is up to you to allow them to create theirs. The responsibility is yours right now. Be the grown up. Be the example. Now more than ever you will guide through example. What example do you wish to be?
Know your limits.
Be clear in your expectations but first make sure they are reasonable. Make sure they are worth it. Make sure you are willing to pay the price and then stand firm in them.
Make one of your goals be that the journey to true independence is full of love and gentle support. For you and for them.
Codependency and resentment is not the aim. Respectful, loving independence is and in that you can create a beautiful fulfilling close and unique relationship. Different than the past but in way less than.
The value of your relationship isn’t based on how much someone needs you it is based on how much someone wants you.
Aim to be wanted not needed……………
After I sat with this, read through it a few times and allowed it to settle within me I wrote to each of my three older children. Here is what I shared with them………
Know when you do nothing you are in fact making a choice.
Know your choices have consequences and those consequences will be yours to live with.
Please don’t let fear guide you and don’t let laziness or complacency or inaction become who you are.
Celebrate your successes
Celebrate your failures, they mean you tried.
Learn from your mistakes.
Learn to say sorry.
Love without fear.
When you hurt know that it will get better.
Make decisions even when you are scared.
Listen to your heart and soul.
Don’t hide or avoid things because they are hard or difficult or uncomfortable.