A MOM'S JOURNEY OF LOVE AND LETTING GO
As a single mom of an 18-year-old son, it's been a bittersweet feeling to watch my son mature and become independent. I know it's a natural part of life but it has been one of the hardest experiences of parenting - letting go.
One of my biggest challenges in parenting is learning to trust my son as he navigates adulthood. As a mom, I want to hold onto him, to protect him from harm and all the meanness of the world, but at the same time, I have to trust him to make good choices and learn from his mistakes.
It hasn't been easy manoeuvring the delicate balance of guiding him and letting him make his own decisions. I'm also learning that trusting him is not a sign of weakness or irresponsibility on my part as a parent. Rather, it is a testament to how I have raised him. By trusting him, I'm showing him that I believe in his abilities and that I have confidence in his decision-making skills.
Of course, this doesn't mean I will stop worrying about him. I will worry about him no matter how old he is. But I'm learning to channel my worries into positive actions, like having open and honest conversations with him about the challenges he's facing, and offering guidance and support when he needs it. Sometimes, it's just about lending an ear when he's gone through an experience that was frustrating.
I'm still here celebrating his ups and empathising with his downs.
Parenting an almost adult is a unique experience. It requires a lot of patience, understanding, tongue-biting and a whole lot of love.
There have been so many moments that have made my heart burst with pride. There have been moments that have made me want to kill some people who have ill-treated him. Also, moments that made me cry in silence because I couldn't protect him from an experience that just wasn't supposed to be.
As he navigates the tricky waters of adulthood, I am there for him, cheering him on from the sidelines, but also allowing him to make his own mistakes and learn from them.
It's not always easy, but it's worth it.
As much as I want to hold on to this once-little boy,
I have to accept that he is growing up and needs to navigate adulthood on his own.
I have to accept that he needs less telling him what to do and more guiding.
I have to accept that he doesn't need me the same way he used to.
I have to accept that he needs me to trust him.
Watching my son grow into a confident, independent young man is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. And as a parent, it's a reminder that I will never stop learning and growing alongside my son.
To all parents out there who are navigating the challenges of parenting almost adults, remember you're not alone. We're all in this together, learning to trust them as they navigate the exciting yet scary, and incredible journey of adulthood. Let us embrace this journey with open hearts and minds, and let our love for them guide us along the way.
In conclusion, trusting your teens as they navigate adulthood is a necessary part of parenting. It's not always easy, but by showing them that we trust them, we are sending a powerful message that we believe in their abilities and their potential.
Let's all continue to support and guide our teens as they become the amazing adults we know they have always been destined for.