our everyday life

How to Let Go of an Older Teen

by Tricia Goss , studioD

As you watch your teen become an adult, the realization that you will soon be forced to let go can be emotionally trying. On one hand, you are proud of the person your child has become and look forward to even finer things for your blossoming young adult, but on the other, you can't help feeling as though you are sending your baby off to face the world alone. Learning healthful ways to let go will make the transition easier for your entire family.

Plan your new life. Many parents fear that their lives will be empty and lonely once their teens leave home. Take up a hobby, join a group of people who share your interests or volunteer your time for a cause you support. Discovering how rich your life can be can help reduce the loss and anxiety you feel.

Give your teen more freedom. Start loosening the reins now while you are still able to observe at a distance and offer help or advice when needed. Allowing activities that are appropriate for your teen's age and maturity level might help you feel more confident in your child's abilities.

Add more responsibilities. Consider the duties your teen will need to perform when you are not around to take care of him. Showing your child how to do laundry, balance a bank account and cook more than Ramen noodles or frozen pizza not only gives your teen valuable life skills that may ease your worries, but you also get to spend constructive time together.

Remain available. Chances are that your teen won't want to share everything with you, but make it clear you are willing to listen objectively at any time. Show interest without doling out advice or judgment any time your child talks to you about friends, problems or other concerns. You might find your teen is more starting to seek out your companionship again.

Trust in parenting skills. Knowing that you raised your child to the best of your abilities will help you relax and enjoy the time you have left under one roof and anticipate a strong relationship as your teen transitions to adulthood.

About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images