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The Process of Letting Go Between Parents and Young Adults
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confusedmom1 posted:
I am a really confused mom, but then maybe too confused. I raised my much loved only child to be an independent and successful person and I certainly succeeded in that. I did put a lot of time and love and energy into my much beloved only child, while she was growing up, but I encouraged rather than stifled her independence and she has grown up to be a well-balanced confident young lady. She is will be 24 next month and the month after that she will be graduating from law school. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for about 2 1/2 years now and they seem to be very happy together. She lives about 5 hours away from me geographically speaking.

We usually talk on the phone between 1 and 3 times a month, but she can be very hard to get hold of. I don't think I have been demanding in that area, but she may be right in that I have been requesting more of her time, when she is in town than I ought. Letting go is hard. She is the center of my life, but she has her own life. I do understand and accept that. I allowed her to go away to college at 17, I don't think that I am a really clingy parent, but maybe it feels that way to her. She has been gradually distancing herself from me in some hard to put your finger on way since she went away to college. I have taken that as a normal part of growing up, but I guess that I feel the distance and I wish that it weren't there. I think that growing distance has affected me in some subtle way also, in that unconsciously I have been trying to bridge the gap and I am not doing a very good job of it. She replied to an E-mail that I sent when I couldn't reach her on the phone and was very angry. She thinks that I am too clingy and needy. She says that most of her friends, including her husband don't talk to their parents more than once a month. Maybe that is normal for young adults, who are establishing their own life. I don't know. It did wake me up and made me aware of what is happening and I realize that my trying to bridge the gap between us is doing the opposite, I have probably been trying to get more time with her when she is in town than she is comfortable with. They stay with his parents, because they have a guest room with a double bed, not that I wouldn't give up my bed and stay in the guest room, with a single bed if they wanted to stay here. I do feel like her inlaws get more time, than I do, not that it is a competition. I just like spending some time with my daughter. Actually the last time I saw her in person, she came over by herself and we went to the show and talked for quite a while afterwards. It wasn't the length of the conversation, but for some reason I felt like the distancing wasn't there and it was nice. I don't think that she is intentionally distancing me, I guess it is just life. I understand that as far as seeing her when she is in town, I will just have to back off. If I only see her once than so be it. I know that by clinging, I will only push her away, but all and all I don't think that I am a clingy demanding mother. I also realize that in order to become her own person maybe she needs this distance. I guess that I thought that she had already become her own person and didn't realize that she may be still in that process. I do know that she is very busy. I'd just like to understand all of this better, because right now I am hurt and confused. I would appreciate any insight, opinions or advice that anyone has to offer and I would love to hear about other people's experiences in this area.
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sluggo45692 responded:
Hi Confused Mom
Sounds like your daughter is an ungrateful brat and by no means are you a clingy mom. I talk to my mom at least 2 times a week. I also have a girlfriend's aunt who has a daughter (8 year degree teacher) that lives in another time zone and they talk at least weekly. I understand being in your early 20's you think your all grown up, but you still need mom and mom still needs you. It's pretty clear she's smart, but she should remember who was there for her before hubby and his family.
Now the bed, if you have the room and funds, get a bigger bed. I know if I stay over somewhere I like a larger bed, even if I'm sleeping by myself. Plus that's one less excuse she can use.
Email is also a good way to communicate. Text, Facebook, or even an old fashion letter or card are forms of communication. Use them. I don't know what your going to talk about, but don't be negative. Keep as up beat as possible, but always truthful and don't harp. My mom will start talking about how my brother is a butt or my sister isn't talking to her. I listen and tell her I love her every time we say goodbye. Remember you can't change them, but you can always love them.
Good luck
 
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dfromspencer responded:
Kids are always in such a hurry to grow up, and we parents want them to stay little forever. That just cannot happen. So, what do we do? We have to make the sacrifice, and let them go. It is sooooo hard, but we must. It is now up to them, to lead their own life. To follow their own path. Etc. Etc..

I don't think you are being clingy at all! You are normal. We all want some form of communication with them, just so that we know they are ok. Just limit yourself, try to make it a twice a month thing, and go from there.

I agree with Sluggo, you should if you can, buy a bigger bed, so that excuse goes out the window. She may not change where they stay, but that may be her husband saying where they stay?

I wish you all the luck!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!


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