I started my blog, RaisingDrama, when my daughter was entering her teen years. I had so many fears and worries about what those years would bring. The greatest of those fears was that my children would grow apart from me. As a stay-at-home mom, they were my world then. Well, now let’s fast forward thirteen years to 2017. My children are now 26 and 21 and this is what I have come to understand.
The truth is that there are some things that are within your power to control and there are most things that are not. I have heard from many parents that they believe the souls of their sweet children somehow leave their bodies on their 13th birthday and then return to them when they get to their twenties. What I believe is really happening is that there are two processes at work during this time: your child is stretching and learning independence and you are cringing and fearing their freedom. Outside forces threaten your relationship with your children for the first time, and as a mother you go into protection mode. But the best thing you could do for them is to give them enough freedom to feel independent and then allow them to suffer the natural consequences of the choices they make. Don’t rush in and rescue them and kiss their boo boos. This is the time for them to learn to be adults and to learn to make good choices. You are there to give them guidance, but they will only seek out your guidance if they respect you. So my best advice is to build that respect long before they enter their teen years while they are still listening to what you are saying.
Perhaps I was simply very lucky, but my children never did turn in the monsters that I had feared. Neither of them live at home anymore, my daughter is on her own and my son lives away at his college. They are both looking at solid career paths and have each found a family of friends who surround them and support them where they now live. I have started my new life as an author and continue to uncover the mysteries of my heritage through ancestral research. My husband and I love spending time together and are enjoying the freedom that comes with an empty nest. No one knows what the future holds, but for now I will put my fears and worries for my children to rest. I’ve done my job and they are living their own journeys now. They know I’m still here and I’ll be watching them from this empty nest. So excited to see where they’ll fly!
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy