About Growing Up And Letting Go

I had one of those “aha” moments today. The “aha” suddenly appeared out of one of those mixed feelings moments. It was one of those moments I felt torn between telling my child off for not doing something she so clearly was able to do and helping her out because… well, because I just enjoy it.

Very often kids ask you to help them with the easiest things ever. In moments like this we are either tempted to say your old enough to do it by yourself or we just simply tell them. Like getting dressed, tying their shoe laces or taking a shower.

My daughter likes me to “help” her take a shower and often it drives me slightly nuts as it is in the exact moments I should get dinner ready too. I feel torn between telling her to just do it and heading downstairs to get dinner ready or staying and helping her. Most of the time “helping” taking a shower simply means staying with her and chatting to her, then handing her the towel.

While I often thought that I could do so many things in those couple of minutes I realized that it is about so much more than actually helping. It’s about so much more than actually handing that towel to her, or getting her fresh pj’s or whatever she thinks it’s helpful in the very moment.

Same with my son. I so often look at him and tell him that he is old enough to do it. Which he is. Which he knows. Again, I think it’s not always about being too lazy or not wanting to do whatever I asked him to do (well, sometimes he is too lazy and sometimes he just doesn’t want to do it…).

Have you ever wondered if our kids struggle with letting go of being a child and growing up too? You know, the same way we sometimes struggle when we realize that they are changing and that they are no longer our little babies anymore?

I think it’s actually the case.

I truly think often it’s not about being lazy. Not with my daughter, not with my son. Often it’s about hanging on to this mother and child relationship. I believe that sometimes they want to hang on to that little child for a bit longer as well.

We always imagine that our kids want to grow up, that they want to be the big child, rather than our little baby. What if they don’t? What if they want to hang on to those moments when they feel safe and looked after, those moments when they don’t have to worry or take on responsibility? What if they have their moments where wanting to be independent suddenly feels scary?Maybe it’s then when they ask us for help for things we simply can’t understand why they would need help for. Maybe it’s their way of not letting go just yet. And I think, every now and then, we should give them that moment. We should let them be the little child once more, only for this short moment. Growing up is a wild ride as we all know. We venture out in the unknown where we suddenly have to take on the world by ourselves. We are no longer in our mother’s womb, we are no longer been carried by our parents. Taking on the world is a big task. Especially for a little child. So often I hear parents point out how fast our kids grow up. They grow up too fast. Not just for us but also for themselves. So let’s hang on to those little moments, especially when they offer them to us. Image result for quotes growing up

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34 thoughts on “About Growing Up And Letting Go

  1. A wonderful post! I had a great conversation my 13 year-old son and I had the other day. He asked me why some things are “less fun” for him now than when he was little. We talked about growing up and our likes and tastes changing as it happens. He told me that it was hard because somethings he still likes others consider “babyish.” I told him as long as it made him happy and wasn’t hurting anyone he was fine. Sometimes it is tough to grow up.

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  2. Quite seriously. There used to be a stigma attached to someone in their late twenties or thirties living at home with their parents but no longer. While I would never want to denigrate someone for having reduced circumstances, especially so when not knowing any details, this phenomena points to several problems, many with the high unemployment rate as root cause. A recent statistic has 51% of the US population receiving some form of government subsidy. Volumes have been written on this subject and none of them has “good governance” as the reason it is so.

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    • The tendency seems to be the same over here. Young adults stay at their parents home for much longer. They simply can’t afford to pay the rent needed to pay in the area they need to stay in…

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      • And then there’s “the stuff” to consider. Used to be that a person graduated college and went out to make a life, expecting to have to work years to accumulate the amenities that were to be found back at mom and dad’s. Now they want to have it all straight out of the gate. What easier way than to simply move back to where “the stuff” already is?

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  4. Hmmm…I’ve never thought about it that way as it does seem that my kids are just hurrying to grow up! I wouldn;t have thought perhaps too, their incessant “please do it for me” is just their way of telling us that they are not letting go just yet. I love the fresh perspective and your post makes me smile! πŸ™‚

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  5. Thanks for the new perspective. We are constantly trying to teach them independence and asking them what they want to be when they grow up that we forget that perhaps they don’t want to grow up. When we help it’s a little more time we get to spend together.

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    • Hey Eric, your comment somehow ended up in my spam folder, so sorry for the late reply. I agree. It’s all about growing up and becoming more independent while they still might to want to hang on for just a little bit longer… It definitely is and I try to look at it this way although it’s not always easy πŸ™‚

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      • It probably ended up there on the day I spent reading commenting on lots of posts. Sometimes it does feel like we’re rushing the kids to grow and be independent while they’re trying not to πŸ™‚

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  6. For children, I don’t know that it’s a conscious thought, maybe just one of those reflex actions where these “traditions” are both comfortable and comforting. After reading some of the other comments, I am proud that my twenty something children are for the most part financially and emotionally self-sufficient, which I know is not always the case, in today’s economy and with the prevalence of “helicopter parents” I have noticed among some of their peers. Now I treasure the memories of those traditions, both in daily living and around special occasions, that we observed when they were little, and I think as they grow older and begin families of their own, those memories will mean as much to them as they do to me now. I guess I want them to stay close enough to me where, at any age, they can ask me to do anything for them, but at the same time not expect me to. That desire may actually go both ways!

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    • You are a fantastic mom, you know. You let them fly, soar, but you are there if they need support. You don’t hold them back, don’t limit them in any way. They are free. And what you let go will be able to return. I’m sure they are very happy to return and they will always be happy to share their experience with their kids with you and ask you for advice and help if needed.

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