Learning to let go and cope with your child growing up is one of the hardest things to do. When we become parents, we think that we won’t have to let our children go until they are ready to go to college or otherwise move out into their own home. We soon discover that actually, this isn’t the case. We let them go all of the time. We let the baby that we love go when the toddler emerges. We let our pre-schooler go on that daunting first day, and we let our child go when they turn into a teen. Parenthood is a constant series of letting go and adapting to a new way of doing things. We’re always learning, and our relationship has to evolve as our child grows.
But letting go never gets any easier. We’re always sad when we think that we’re leaving a phase of our child’s life behind, and we never have any choice. If you want to maintain a positive relationship with your child, you need to let them go a little bit each time. Here are some tips to help you cope with your child growing up.
5 Tips for Coping with your Child Growing Up:
Take Small Steps
Growing up doesn’t happen all at once. The day they turn 13 they don’t suddenly start behaving like a teenager. Take small steps, encouraging independence and freedom slowly giving them, and you, time to adjust.
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. Spend time talking to them about the dangers that they’ll face. Try not to scare them, but be honest and answer any questions that they might have. As our children start to go out into the world on their own, this kind of knowledge is perhaps the most powerful tool that you can give them. A child growing up doesn’t have to learn on their own.
Another tool that you may give them is a smartphone. A phone means that you can keep in touch, they can call for help if they need it, get an Uber if they’re stuck, and check the map if they feel uncertain about their location. But, phones come with their own dangers. Teach them how to spot scams, never to give their details out online, and click here to read about how to find out who is calling with an unknown number.
Enjoy a New Relationship
Your relationship with your child changes as they grow. You won’t speak to your adult child like you would your toddler. As they get older, you develop a friendship with your child. Enjoy this, embrace it, and let it grow, instead of trying to cling to the relationship you had with a younger child.
Follow Their Rules
As your child gets older, they’ll start to develop boundaries. They’ll stop wanting you to kiss them in public; they may not even like cuddles in front of their friends. All children have different rules, but it’s important that you respect them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a cuddle when they come for one, though! Or for them to tell you when they are coming home from a night out.
Build a Safe Home Environment
If they want to talk, be there for them. If they need a cuddle, offer it. When they want a shoulder to cry on, make sure yours is there. Build a relationship based on honesty and understanding, and they will always come back, no matter how old they are.
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