letting go

Jamille - posted on 01/07/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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My daughter is away at college, she's doing very well. So I suggest going back to school with her due to the snow storm she;s a new driver, but she really does'nt want me to. She says I would be invading her privacy.As A mother I am going to help her drive but she often says I call her too much. How do I let go and let her grow up. She is the only child.Feedback Please.

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Darlene - posted on 01/10/2010

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When my last child went off to University, I thought my world had fallen apart, I was upset when he didn't call, I was hurt when he was too busy to talk, I know call once a week (or he calls me) I chat with him occasionally on facebook, and all is now great with the world. You can never really let go, you just need to let them know you are there if they need you, and after a little bit they do call you. Patience is the key...they just need to try things on their own,

Ashley - posted on 10/24/2012

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Hello, i am a 20 year old daughter, i am in college. I have a 3.5 gpa, have a steady job, and pay my own bills.



My mom still reads all of my emails, she calls me all the time. I love my mom, but she doesnt understand. How am i suppose to grow up if i never get the chance to try?



I know its hard for moms, but by not lettiing us go, you are straining the mother daughter relationship. I never want to talk to her anymore, i never tell her anything for fear of being treated as a child. Slowly stop being a mom, and start being a friend. She is fine, you are the one that needs to become your own person. Go out and do things, if she needs you, she will ask

Laurie - posted on 01/11/2010

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Agreed it is hard to let go. You never stop being a mom but you do have to give them their space and let them grow up. Being on their own at college is part of that. My third just went to college this past fall so I have been doing this awhile. The oldest is in her first year of grad school. Just remember when they are this age they don't have all the worries we do or think like we do; they are out to explore life and live it. (of course that is why we worry!!) But you have given her a good foundation, give her the wings to fly and know that she will come back to you. I also understand about the worries of driving in the bad weather. Two of mine are at the same school 1 1/4 hours away and one is 3 hours away and our winter has been terrible. We just try to give them good advice and remind them to have common sense when it comes to their driving and such.
I use phones, facebook, and e-mails to communicate with the kids. I also try to do letters and cards in the regular mail to surprise them and give them a boost. My son is the hardest as he doesn't communicate as often to us, I think boys may not call as much. I am still trying to figure out the best way with him. College kids don't seem to like us parents hovering or asking a lot of questions. Sometimes I call and say a quick Hi and other times I just wait to hear from them. I never let it go too long without checking in with them either by phone or e-mail.
Sounds like you are on the right track, just have faith in her and tell her you are always there if she needs anything and then just give her some space. She may even surprise you and call you sometimes!! They probably won't admit when they miss you but may call you anyway. Good luck and be patient, it does get better with time~~!
Laurie, mom of 3 college kids

Shari - posted on 01/11/2010

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When my daughter was in Collage, she often made jokes about how I called more then other mom's. She sometimes wouldn't answer... I called almost once a day. I worred and we where always close. Only girl with 2 boys, we stuck together... Now she is 25 lives 3 miles away she has a beautiful little boy, a wonderful husband and she say's I'm her best friend. They may complain but they secretly love it =]

Joann - posted on 01/07/2010

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you don't let go... just grip softer...meaning if you call her 6 times a day (which is excessive) then cut back to 2-3 times a week...if/when she wants she'll call you before the week is out...because she expects you to be calling her, but when you back off she'll call to make sure nothing is wrong & that your okay.

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Rachel - posted on 08/17/2012

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Jamille,



I am a reporter at the Deseret News. I am doing a story on the difficulty of parenting children while they are at college - how this transition alters the duties parents play.



I'd love to interview you for one or two minutes about the difficulties of letting your child go. I'm actually on deadline to finish this story by today, so the sooner the better.



I look forward to hearing from you.



Rachel Lowry

rlowry@desnews.com

801.237.2128

Susan - posted on 06/01/2012

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How old is she? If under 18, you're still the "boss"! :) If she's going to do it on her own the only thing that you can control is how you react to life...everything is a cr*p shoot! :) Good luck. My 18 year old baby is getting ready to take off to college in a month and a half; she and I are extremely close, more so than with my other two. I try to not call, txt, etc. the other two and let them get in touch with me. I had a mom whom I literally had to check in with daily and I remember the resentment that it was like that. I also remember the feeling of relief once that call was over; I don't want to repeat that cycle with my kids, I'm trying very hard to build my life so that I don't become a pathetic mom that sits by the cell phone waiting for their texts. Funny, used to be phone calls! Remember?

I wish you luck and I hope she's under 18! She'll get over her "privacy" issues, especially once she becomes a mom!

Vickie - posted on 03/12/2010

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This was very hard for me as well. I just resisted the urge to call and got busy and put my focus on other things. I got a job, which helped a lot. I try to let my daughter call me, but I insist on a text (brief is fine) every few days so I know she's safe.

Diane - posted on 02/28/2010

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You never really let go...but you have to give them the space and freedom to grow, just like our parents did for us. It is the toughest part of parenthood. My son joined the Marines a year ago, and it was extremely hard to watch him go. They dont understand it at their age, I know I did not understand why my mom cried all 4 hours it took to take me to college the first time. When my son left, I think I cried every day the week before he left and the week he left. I now understand why my mom did, it is hard to let our "babies" go. It takes time but she will call you and if you let her have space, she will be calling everytime there is something exciting to tell you and even when all she wants is to hear your voice (but she probably wont admit that one ) :)

Rebecca - posted on 02/27/2010

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you are so right! Letting go to God. I have 2 in college and the duaghter is away at school. She hates it there, but it is a good school. Letting go and Letting god! : )

Anne - posted on 02/22/2010

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The hardest part of love is the letting go...I have found texting to be a great way to communicate. It forces you to keep conversation short and they can choose to either ignore the text or respond. It also clues me in on when they're "in the mood" to talk to me so sometimes that means it's a good time to call.

[deleted account]

I am the mother of an only child (girl) and she is in her senior year and it was a really difficult transition when she left to go away to school. I really had to reinvent my life and find where I "fit" since for 18 years she had been pretty much my first priority. The university she attends is only about 45 minutes away, so a snow storm might not have made me panic as much as if she had to drive several hours. At first I called often and then I impatiently waited for her to call me. I consider myself pretty fortunate in that she does call usually every other day, but resist the temptation to call her at the drop of a hat. She does need to know you are there when she needs you (and she will), but too many calls will make her feel that she cannot make it on her own. With our daughter being so close, I used to try to include her in family functions because she could easily get there, but I had to learn that she has her own life now and if you back off some you will find that she will make the effort to stay in touch with you. When she does call, you will know that she did so on her own and it will be very gratifying. I don't know how long your daughter has been away at school, but as time goes on your relationship with her will increase dramatically. Hang in there! Find things in your life that make you happy and fulfill that empty spot. When you do talk to her and she sees that you have a life of your own too, she will be happy for you and interested in the news you have about yourself and not just questions about her.

[deleted account]

Wow! Everyone responded the same. I'm not a mean mom but I want to know what is going on with my children. If you are paying for you're daughters schooling then you have every right in the world to know what she is doing. I would also tell her that as long as you pay for it, if that is the case, that she has limited privacy. College kids can get into a lot of things because it is their first time away from home and they are enjoying freedom they might not have had before. It is you're business as a mom what you're child is doing and once she is out of school then she can make her own way and you know that you've done everything you thought was right and hope she has a great life out on her own. Good luck on which ever way you choose to go with her. I hope she succeeds in everything she does!

Jane - posted on 02/18/2010

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Them growing up is harder on mom then it is on the child. My daughter went off to college several states away (1000 miles) in August of 2008. I cried for a week but she was just fine without me. Now, she's in her sophomore year and I can honestly say that when she comes home, I am so happy and enjoy her being home but what I don't enjoy is the "clean your room up", "do your laundry", "don't come home too late", "be sure to shut the garage when you come in so someone doesn't rob the house" and all the other one line statements I have to make. When she goes back to school, I miss her BUT I also know she's living her life, going to school learning what she loves and is flourishing as an adult AND I don't have to nag her about her room, etc (LOL).

My point is, it will get easier...it really will. I promise!!!!!!! Like someone said...you don't really let go....you just ease up. Be there for HER when SHE needs YOU versus the other way around.

Hang in there momma....you'll be fine :)

Patti - posted on 02/18/2010

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Status update to help prove my point....this week my son who is away at college walked in and found his roommate had attempted suicide. My son was quick thinking at got him to the ER and saved his life. However he still needed his mom, right after he called home to talk and said he was so glad he felt he could call home for anything and that I never nagged him. Through it all both boys are doing well, my son is calling me several times a day to talk through this while his roommate is getting the help he needs. Our children are still children but I think they need to work out their adult loives for themselves to a certain point and that means without us ho"hovering" over them but instead "be there" when needed.

Shayna - posted on 02/17/2010

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This last fall I took my oldest boy 12 hrs away to college. WOW! I never in my wildest dreams realized how hard it was gonna be to leave him. Even though I know he is okay I find myself worrying about things that are truly rediculous. I think it is just part of being a mother. I now realize why my parents were the way they were. I don't think they were freaking out over stupid things now......LOL. When I left the first week I called and texted every day or every other day. I began to realize that I was being excessive and that I was expecting to much from him. He was going to classes, playing sports,trying to make friends, unpack and settle in and that he was very busy. So I backed off and gave him his space. They need that to grow and to become and individual. Even thou we dont want to and we want to hold on as tight as possible you have to let them breath and back off so they have a chance to miss you. I now check on him thru FB and text and call. So I think with time it gets easier.......doesnt make you miss them any less. So good luck......:)

Patti - posted on 02/17/2010

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I too have a freshman in college this year. I swore to myself I was not going to call all the time. Surprise! He now calls me wondering what's going on!

Sandy - posted on 02/16/2010

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i have three kids at college. the oldest just graduated last summer, and he moved back in until he finds a job. we are happy about that. I have the middle two 6 hrs away since last aug. very hard to let go, but when you see they need to spread their wings and learn to live as responsible adults, it becomes a blessing, and you are so proud of them when you see they are doing well. I do not like my kids being gone,i miss them terribly, but it helps me get from one visit to the other knowing they are safe, and happy! I try not to call them alot,but we text every couple of days, they know i need to know they are alive & well, and they tolerate me.. they need their space But they also need to know their moms love them and are here for them. keep communicating on their terms. this is not easy, but we all get through it somehow :)

Kimberlee - posted on 02/15/2010

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try just calling in once a week. say on sundays. this way you can catch up with what went on during the week. I always end my conversation with .. just call if you need anything . He usually calls once a week or of course if he needs something. It's scary, but you have to let them make some mistakes because this is the process of growing up. learn from your mistakes, thats always been my moto. I know my boy appreciates the space, but he knows I am just a call away if need be. good luck and remember, your not alone, there is alot of us moms out there being worry warts.. it cant be helped...WE ARE MOMS. LOL

Barbara - posted on 02/05/2010

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Our son is away at a technical college. I'm just glad that he chose to continue his education. I, too, called too much and checked on him on fb too often. He unfriended me for a while. . . that was killer. Then we created a compromise. I can check on him on fb, but not post public comments. We call him every Sunday, and the rule is he has to answer. If we can't reach him within a couple of hours, we will be driving two hours to find him and he knows that. After the compromise rules were created, I find that he calls me MORE. He usually just calls to tell me how his day was or what he bought at the grocery store. He knows that we love him so much that we are only concerned that he is safe. He also knows that we are here if he needs us.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/03/2010

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When my first born began University in September of 2009, (campus is 3 hours away from home) I thought my world was ending! It was the hardest thing to do, leave her there in the dorm room. I called her almost everyday, but then realised I was making her homesick. So now I call every second or third day, and we have great chats. When she comes home on the weekend, we always try to watch a movie or go for walks etc. It's a long way from letting go, but really, I don't think parents really ever let go completely. It's ok to give her guidance, and give her the space she needs as well. Good Luck!!

Robertine - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hi Jamille, this is really hard. I have three kids. Two are already out of the house. One is married and one lives in Chicago. I still have one at home and is going to community college. He's 19. He will have to later transfer to another school. I can't say that I know what it's like experience the empty nest syndrome. You only have one child and it's not easy letting them go. You always worry if they can make it on their own. But we know that deep down in our hearts we have to let them go. All we can do is pray for our children and hope they make the right choices and decisions. Don't underestimate them. Sometimes our children can really surprise us. It sounds like your daughter has already figured things out and doing quite well for herself. Give her some space. She may feel that you are cramping her style. My oldest son has a cell phone and he still don't call me like I want. I can call him and he may not respond back for a while. I can send him a text message and still no response. So I figure when he's ready, he'll call me or send a text back. So girl, let her go. She'll be fine. I know it's hard. You also worry too because she is a girl. She'll be fine. Keep her in your prayers and I will be praying for you too.

Helen - posted on 01/20/2010

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My daughter is at college too,she is 22 years old and my problem is whwn she is back at home she wants to drive .But her experience is only when she is in vacations and she drives at night so i woorie toomuch.Her answer is the same that i don't trust her.

Jeannine - posted on 01/18/2010

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This is probably the hardest thing I have to do. My daughter turns 22 this month I stiil cry everytime she leaves for college. I do not know if you have a cell phone with text messaging, my daughter handles a text much better than a phone call. That way she can respond on her own time. Not the same as talking, but still a way to keep in touch. As for phone calls, As for phone calls I let her call me that way I know she has time to talk. Good Luck

Katie - posted on 01/18/2010

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I've got a really hard problem, my husband and I just moved here to Washington State from San Francisco Bay Area, my son and daughter are in college in California, we had to move here for my husband's job, California is too expensive, but my freshman daughter just went away to Chico State University which is 12 hours by car from our new home now. She wants to spend time in our old neighborhood because that's where her friends families live, and her grandparents and aunts and uncles, it is so hard for me up here in Washington State without my kids and no family or friends yet, I've made some friends, but they aren't like my old friends that I've known for 15 - 20 years. My daughter is suffering from anxiety attacks and sadness, because we are so far away, I am suffering from anxiety attacks too and depression about leaving my old life. I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, everyone tells me how lucky we are to have jobs and a new home, but I'm still miserable, and my daughter is too for the most part. She's better when she's back at school, she's still visiting relatives this week, and is very near our old house. My husband assures us that all will be well, but I just don't know. I'm so sad and homesick.

Sue - posted on 01/18/2010

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I know the feeling of letting go, it isn't easy to do. My daughter, youngest of two, is in her first year at college 4 hours away. The first time she came home,she rode with a friend. When I put her on the bus to go back, it was really hard. She has gone many times to summer Bible camp but that was not the same. She was alone on the bus. She called me when she arrived safely. When she went back after the Christmas break, she drove alone. I had to trust her and God to protect her. She arrived safely and sent me a text that she had arrived. That is how we communicate most of the time. It is fast and doesn't take away her privacy. Sometimes I don't hear from her for a few days, so I'll just send her a quick text. It helps to know how she is doing during the week.

Hope this helps in some way.

Sue

Laurie - posted on 01/17/2010

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Jamille; I am a mother of three daughters. The first went off to join the military shortly after she turned 18 (I know what that is like as I left home at the age of 17 with my parent's consent to join up). For me I have found that as hard as it is to let them go, we must do so for them to grow as individuals and learn from their mistakesand experiences in life. My middle one (She is 18) drove back to college today, and I was concerned, but had to allow her choice. She got a speeding ticket while en-route and called me in tears to tell me she got a ticket. I remained calm and told her that it was what it is, and advised her that sometimes things happen in life that we have to own up too.

As far as calling goes, since I do not know my college daughter's comings and goings during the day, I wait for her to call me. If I see that she is on facebook, then I do send an IM her way. If she is busy, I respect that, and tell her I love her. But yes it is hard.

We as women who have children, (whether via natural birth or adotion) will always be concerned for those that GOD has placed in our care. I hope that this information has helped, and I will be praying for you and your daughter.

Katie - posted on 01/17/2010

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You have to bite the bullet, its so hard, i'm just like you, my daughter is in California and a freshman, I am in Washington State, so its so difficult for me, I feel so depressed sometimes, but I try never to let her know that. My son is almost 22 and graduating from college in California too, I just moved here for my husband's job. I miss them so much but we MUST help them to feel confident and free if we want them to be successful.

Patricia - posted on 01/15/2010

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My daughter is always saying i call her to much so I stopped calling her and after a week she called me and wanted to know why I was mad at her. I told her that she said I called to much so I stopped. Well we call each other at least once a day, if just to say hi and I love you.

JUNIDAH - posted on 01/14/2010

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On his 2nd week at college, My teenage son had broken up with his gf..when. she announced she had go back to her old bf on fb. I can feel he is hurt and really miserable... I just drop by at his fb and post an encouragement note.. It's hurt to be dumped and announced to the world.. She is really heartless... I loves my son very much to see him hurt.. She doesn't deserved him in the first place...

Denise - posted on 01/14/2010

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Just put your trust in God that he will protect her. Say a little prayer for her. She'll be fine. I felt the same way when my sons started to drive last year - You can't be with her 24/7. She has to grow up.

Tracy - posted on 01/14/2010

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Hi, I am Tracy, I have 3 adults in college I had to let them experience life like I did. Trust me it was hard but, if you know how you have raised her to be the precious daughter she is put her in God's hands and let she fly like an eagle she will make u proud I can promise that. I am a very proud parent!

Leigh - posted on 01/12/2010

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oh bless your heart, I can feel your pain,,,,,,,,, I am the mother of an "only" as well, and for the past 14 years she was the center of my universe, that is until I went back to college myself to pursue a career in Social Work,,,,,,,, my daughter has been supportive and has even helped me with my homework,,,,,,now I get to graduate on her 19th birthday,,,,,, I have to agree with Joan, I am not sure as a mom if we ever truly let go, we just loosen the grip little by little,,,,,,,,, your daughter loves and appreciates you, but she is trying to open her wings and prepare to fly solo one day,,,,,,,,

Kelly - posted on 01/11/2010

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As a mom, we never really let go. We will always feel the need to take care of, protect and guide. My son went through a stage where he could do it all by himself and I felt helpless and it hurt a little bit but now, as he matures, he relies on me when he needs to. Always let her know you are there for her and there will come a time when she will need you but as a parent, we have to let them do it alone if they feel the need to. This is one of our growing pains.

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