How do I start the letting-go process?

Letting go of your child as they become adults is a gut wrenching, difficult time. How do you begin to code with their independence and your own?

22  Answers

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According to my Mom, you don't actually let go. You just get a longer leash.

I don't think it's so much about "letting go" as it is about accepting the inevitable. Children will grow up. They will probably make many of the same mistakes and have similar successes as their parents did. The only thing parents can do for adult children is to be loving always, supportive in the positive things, and instructive in the negative things. In theory, if they made it to adulthood, you did an okay job already. ☺

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LETTING GO OF YOUR CHILDREN IS NEVER EASY, BUT YOU MUST LET THEM GO SO THAT THEY WILL GROW UP AND BECOME INDEPENDENT AND SHOW YOU ALL THAT YOU HAVE TAUGHT THEM. MY DAUGHTER WHEN SHE MOVE FROM ME I WAS HAPPY AND SAD BUT I STILL SEE HER VERY OFTEN AND I AM VERY PROUD OF THE WONDEFUL WOMAN AND MOTHER THAT SHE IS AND I SEE ALL THAT I HAVE TAUGHT HER. MY SON ON THE OTHER HAND IT IS HARDER BUT I AM SLOWLY MAKING HIM BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIM SELF. AS WITH MY OWN BROTHERS MY PARENTS HAD TO GIVE THEM A PUSH ANS THEY HAD TO MOVE AWAY TO BECOME THE MEN THAT THEY ARE. I WANT THE SAME FOR MY SON SO I WILL PUT HIM IN GOD'S HANDS ANDS AND WAIT FOR THE OUTCOME. MOTHER'S YOU KNOW IT IS ALWAYS HARDER TO LET GO OF THE BABY, I KNOW HE IS A MAN NOW AND HE HAS A SON SO I WANT HIM TO BE THE MAN THAT I KNOW HE CAN BE AND WE ALL WANT TO KNOW THAT THEY WILL BE OK WHEN WE ARE GONE, SO FLY MY SON BECOME THE MAN GOD PUT YOU HERE TO BE THE MAN THAT WILL TEACH HIS SON TO BE ANOTHER GREAT MAN.

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Thank you. I have 21 year old and its hard letting go. I realize that he needs to grow and I need to back off so he can grow up and become a responsible mature adult.

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as they gain their independence, and you'll know, is when you start to let them experience their own downfalls; just be there to support them and let them know the right way to go about things and what to expect doing it their way, or yours. someone whos already done different things, and the outcome.

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Children are a blessing from the Lord, whom we are admonished to bring them up in the nuture and admonition of the law. When I got pregnant I told the Lord that if I was given a little girl I would give her back to Him as a gift - my prayers was answered and I kept my promise. She is now an adult 27 years old and it is difficult let go. I had to go to God in prayer to give me the wisdom to guide the process, we then had a heart to heart talk on the topic in which I expressed how I felt about the matter and she did the same. We set some boundaries in which we would operate without making each other felt rejected and unhappy, considering that she is an only child. The relationship is wonderful and we have interesting and wonderful discourse on just about any topic. We share the visitation as she lived in the USA going to school from age 17. We have devotions on the phone as often as possible or just share the word of God and His mercies and blessings in our lives.


Wilma Daley

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The 'empty nest syndrome' is and can be one of the difficult process's to come to terms with for a parent. Although there are times when you wonder if they will ever be ready to face the world and be independant. nature has away of preparing us for this stage in allowing our children to grow into fully functioning independant adults. Having said that the loss you feel when your chicks leave home is a difficult one to overcome as many parents will tell you, this means that once again you have gained some of your independance back and now it is a opportunity for you to find out once again who you are and do things for yourself, however this does not mean that you will not play a vital role in your childrens lives, they will always fly home for advice and support and the times they most need you or to have some mothering.
They will also want to share with you the important times that only parents can do, however nature has a reason for your children to leave home and become independant and that is to meet partners and maybe have a family of their own, this means that once again you will take on that important role of grandparent once again filling your life with young children and hectic life. Enjoy the moment of finding youself and be gratefull you have done such a wonderful job of allowing your child to grow into a confident happy healthy adult well done you !!

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Ha, ha! I just realized that I am in a different boat than some people. A year after my daughter graduated from high school and spent most of her time playing video games, I was busy working and taking care of a toddler and it was remarkably easy to give her a shove out of the nest! Now, of course, the stress involved with parenting a teenager is gone and we are good friends. I miss her so much sometimes and phone and text her often.

123 3

You start the letting go process when they are tiny babies who roll away from you and toddlers who want to pick out their own clothes. Their entire life is about letting them go. When my daughter moved out (I gave her 3 months moving notice), I helped her move, bought her $100 worth of groceries and made a rule not to call her more than once a week. I found that she would often call me more often, so I stopped worrying about encroaching on her independence, and I call whenever I want.

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Wise words, Jennifer, and I would add: resist the urge to advise unless asked! We can't always do it but it shows respect for their independence...so they will ask!

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My youngest is 22.5 and moving to another state. I am very happy for her & relieved she is moving to an area where ppl more health conscious and committed to supporting it's citizens efforts to remain healthy. I am also sad because I will miss our life together, alive and "in person". But at this point, I think it is wise to think, not what I will be missing, but rather, what can we 'still do'. We can 'still' text or talk or Skype. The things we have in common...(healthy, yummy cooking, finding new vegan recipes, etc., discussing relationship issues and sharing our journey as believers) I'm trying to remain focused on our love for one another and how that will never change. How, she lives in my heart, and that's not going anywhere. I must accept there are some feelings (concerning our separation) that I don't feel I should share with her (as to not burden her at this time) but I 'do' feel it's a good idea to share with a close friend or even a counselor or therapist if needed. As mothers and fathers, or caretakers we need that support and place to feel 'safe' to be ourselves. So, how do I start letting go ? How about an earnest prayer for her well being, safe travel, and favor along the way. Then drawing close to the Lord and trusting Him with 'my' well being. Amen. P.S. Sandy Jones..I like your Mom's saying...;) So ladies, our leashes have not disappeared completely...they are just 'longer"!! Blessings everybody.

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My situation is very different from the ones I have read. I was a single mother of 4. Three girls and one boy. I worked alot to provide them with the necessities. They are grown now and have children of their own. They realize the difficulty of raising children and the struggles we went thru and are very appreciative of the things I did to provide for them. I have a daughter who has alot of problems. She has seizure and has endured alit of abuse from her children's father. She is only 22 yrs old. I am raising the 2 children she had as a result of that relationship. The girls are 3 and 2. I am 48 yrs old and am starting over. She doesn't live with us and she is partially in their lives. I stithe mother that still wants to swoop down and save all of my children and it is causing alot of problems in my marriage. I have realized this just now. I need to let go.It terrifies me to think of it. I won't to free myself from all of the worry and anxiety I go thru every day still tryin to solve their problems from relationships to financial hardships and it is killing me. I am there 24-7 for them. They have told me not to because I get exhausted from tryin to fix everything. I am also raising 2 more and all of the stress is causing me alot of problems. What can I do to start the process. They don't have the problem ....I do.

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I never did let go of my two adult children. As they matured, the relationship changed to accomodate the changes in our lives. Both my son and daughter have found that adjustments are necessary on their part 9as I age) just as adjustments are necessary on my part as the circumstances of their lives change. All part of God's grand plan, I suppose.

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Sorry, tried to edit it. The 9 should be a (.

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the part to start letting go is their senior year of high school. They do leave for college, but when that is done, they come home. It takes a while for some kids to leave home. The last one stayed until we were signing the paper work to sell the house. We were already retired and moving to Florida, he knew that, I guess we was waiting to see if he could stay with the new owners. Two weeks he found an apartment. He had been married and divorced, and just couldn't find his place. When we moved to Florida, he was all alone, his brothers had moved out of state also. Now the brothers have returned and he has reconnected with his brothers. Now we are all alone in Florida and we make a 3 1/2 hour flight to visit for two weeks in the summer. My children come and go, but as lone as I live they are always welcome Home.

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IMHO, don't. It is all about culture, I would guess. For us, our children were always independent. They started working at eleven(ish), began college at 15 and were off to University by 18. They started traveling around the world, joining service projects, at 16. They paid for their own education (we helped with rent, insurance, cell phones) while they worked at least 30 hours a week. Two have AAs, two have BAs and one has a Masters degree. All of them continue to look for opportunities to continue their education. Four are married, three have given us a total of eight grandchildren. I never let go. I don't know what that means. After traveling the world, they came home. After college, they came home. After service, they came home. I firmly believe they fly high and far because they can always come home, were never forced to go anywhere. The door was always open. Our philosophy was that if you give them the tools to be the best members of society that you would want for everything from your own neighbor to your mayor you have done your job as a parent. You give them the freedom to fly and you never have to say goodbye. At least, that is how it is here.

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I have a 19, 17 & 15 year old and I really appreciate this question. I myself am going to do some searching and find something I like and start taking care of myself a little more.

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my thoughts about this, are mixed right now, when i let go of my two oldest sons it was a little easier because they was prepared for the world and had girlfriends that already experienced life outside of there homes.... now with my youngest who has autism I am having a real difficult time letting go, he is so not ready, and the girlfriend he has chosen is not even prepared to take care of a puppy or her self ,I am disappointed in the transition therapy Mike has received in Maine ,, he is not prepared ,I still have temp guardianship . and I just cant see him taking on adult responsibilities yet.. so I am prepared to fight it right now in court because I live with him, he don/t go out of the house, he does not interact accept with 3 people he has been friends with for ever, he wont finish school, despite my efforts to keep him going. .. his girlfriend on line 1200 miles away tells him he does not need education, or a job..

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It is important to let children make age-appropriate decisions on their own. A toddler can choose between two different outfits, a school-age child can dress on his own and get a parent's OK before leaving the house, teenagers can start to make more serious decisions like how to spend their free time and maybe even making dinner once a week, etc. It is important to teach them that their free time begins when all of the required activities for the day are finished. Those required activities would include going to school, homework, chores, etc.

One of the most important things my parents taught me was how to handle my money. Their goal was for me to be ready to go out on my own by the time I graduated from high school. I had a checking account when I was 16 and even though I wrote most of those checks to my parents, it helped me learn to reconcile my bank statement and know where my money was being spent.

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I think the advice that I would give to new moms is to make sure you keep your interests going even in the face of being a busy and devoted mom. If you can work part-time, belong to a club that focuses on your interests, volunteer, etc., you will find it easier. I think moms sometimes give up their entire life to their children and that's not healthy for the mom or the child - ever heard of helicopter syndrome? I miss my son and my daughter is not far behind. However, I have a great career, interesting hobbies, and I ensure that I take care of myself - all of which take up quite a bit of time. I think my kids appreciate that they can explore life without the burden of feeling guilty that they are leaving someone who lives for their very existence. Besides, they still need you. My son called me recently because someone died at his company and he didn't know what to do. I was touched in so many ways - that my 23 year old son still thinks to call me for advice and that I raised a son who is thoughtful and concerned about others.

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I am dealing with this myself right now. Don't forget to cry when you need to. Sometimes just having a good cry as I feel the pain of my daughter going back to college. It hurts even though we know it is all for the best. It is bitter sweet for sure. Take care of yourself and good luck. :)

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My son has Aspergers and I have invested a lot in him over the years. he has needed help with so much that letting go with him is hard. he is now 18 and wants some independance. He is smart enough to tknow that he still needs help with som ethings and we talk about decisions he wants to make, he uses me as a sounding board and a place to get advice and I try really really hard not to be authoritative or discourageing but to br supportin\ve and honesty about wher I think his bilities lie in any particular endeavor. He is moving away slowly and it takes alot of hard work on my part to let him. He is also my baby (youngest) and I think that makes it hard as well. Luckily my daughter who is muc holder has given me a new grandson to help ease me through the process (like she did this just for me haha yeah right0. It is never easy.

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As my son approaches his 22nd birthday I see what an independent & ambitious young man I have raised. My heart aches at the thought of him moving out soon but he goes into the world with all of my love, support & encouragement. I let him know, I'm will always just be a phone call away if he needs to bounce an idea off of me, needs advice on how to balance his checkbook or a reminder of my meatloaf recipe. I think part of what makes him excited about starting the next chapter of his young life is knowing that his dear ol' mom is now & always will be his #1 cheerleader & fan.

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Letting Go of our kids is really hard but for us to do it we need to accept first,. Accept that they are grown up and its time for them to explore and live their own life too..then Trust,,,trust them that they will choose the right thing and apply all the good things that we taught them while they are growing up...when our children become an adult its their time to build their own life on their own way let them go and learn so when they have their own family they will know the values that we taught them are important and we should be proud because we did our best that we can for them..also have Faith that your kids will do the right thing like what u did when start your own life too.
.this is what you call the cycle of life.
so the process of letting go is Acceptance,Trust and have Faith..God Bless and enjoy life because its too short to waste on worrying..

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my grand son who we raise is 23 he had a job but was laid off he has never been on his own he is going back to collage during the mean time all he does is play pc games but helps us when we ask we are in our 70 .If he does get back into school we Just don't know what to do we told him we would never put him out we live in las vegas were job are few

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I think it is great that you can help him. And I don't see any harm in helping, so long as you don't feel taken advantage of. Make a list of chores you want help with or behaviours you want him to change. With good communication, everyone will be happy, and his self-esteem and competence will only improve if he is useful and active.

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Ii try to give sound advice and never force my opinions on my children. If you raised them properly then they will respect you and want you in their lives.

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I HAVEN'T LEARNED THAT PROCESS CALLED LETTING GO OF MY CHILDREN. AS A RESULT, IT HAS BROUGHT MANY TEARS TO MY EYES. I NEVER WANTED THEM TO LEAVE HOME. I REALIZE THAT WAS NOT REALITY, HOWEVER, I DIDN'T WANT TO LET GO, EVEN TIL TODAY. I HAVE COME TO REALIZE THAT NO HOW MUCH I LOVE LAURIE, TANYA, CHRISTY AND DENA, I HAVE TO LET GO. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL GROWN, INDEPENDENT AND SELF SUPPORTING LADIES WHO DID NOT NEED "MOMMIE'' AS THEY ONCE DID. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LIVES AND THEIR OWN CHILDREN (MY AWESOME GRANDCHILDREN) TO BEGIN TRYING TO LET GO OF. I LOVE THEM ALL DEARLY. I WILL NNNNNEVER LET GO IN MY HEART :)

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Dianne, you never let go in your heart you hold on to all the memories of them growning up and always be there for them if they need you, sometimes they fall , as we did when we were growing up, thats why we are there to help them up on on their way. i love my babies they are 30 and 24 and they will always be my babies in my heart no matter how old they get but i give them their space to be an adult, and i just hang back and do my Nana duties of spoiling the grandbabies lol

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