It’s the summer after high school and your son or daughter is never around. You may be feeling ignored and sad. You had hoped that this last summer would be a time for you share the final words of advice and wisdom with your child as you helped them to prepare for moving away from the haven of the family home. Instead you barely get an opportunity to say hello or good-night each day. They are with their friends going here and there and keeping incredibly busy doing anything and nothing.
It’s ok…and it’s normal. When 18-year-old kids (often subconsciously) realize that a big transition is in the works their response is often to ignore it and to stay so busy that they don’t have to deal with all the big emotions that they are (barely) managing to hold at bay. They have lived at home for their entire life, and now they are going to be living on their own…it sounds fun and exciting and great until the reality hits…they are going to be living on their own!!! YIKES! That means they are going to be responsible for everything…and that is usually a pretty scary thought. Without realizing they are doing it, they find that it is better to stay busy all the time and then they don’t have to think about the scary reality of what is happening in the fall.
Unfortunately, you will probably feel like you are walking a tightrope over the summer. Just like when they were two years old they will seemingly go back and forth on what they want from you. First, they want to be your little boy or girl, and then an hour later they barely want to acknowledge you as a parent with any impact over them. Again, it’s normal. That doesn’t make it easy as a parent, but maybe a few tips will help:
- To the degree you are able, maintain a sense of humor.
- Trust that you have done a wonderful job of parenting your child.
- Understand that this is a stage, and that humor helps.
- Laugh when you can, cry when you need to.
- Keep your home life stable.
- This helps them to know they have a safety net that allows them to leave.
- Knowing that home is there for them really does help.
- Love them exactly where they are.
- Love them as they grow, struggle, easily leave, adjust to change or ignore it
- Love them, love them, love them
- Be prepared to offer a lot of support around the details of preparing and moving to school…even if they act like theydon’t want it.
- Remember that sense of humor? This is a good time to laugh and shake your head and quietly step up and support them to successfully manage a move.
- If you have a spouse or partner, check in
- Be a team, help each other as you support and love your child into the next chapter.
- Find a friend or a group of friends to support you and to act as a sounding board.
- There is nothing like the wisdom, love and support of other women.
- Find a coach or counselor to walk alongside you as you adjust to your next chapter in life.
And my final piece of advice is “Breath”. Let your breath help you to find perspective and the ability to remain loving and supportive to yourself and to your child. If you would like support in this Transition contact me…I would love to share this journey with you!
After 30 plus in the business world Karen Herold considers herself a recovering CPA, finance and executive management business leader. She left her business career to pursue a master’s in transpersonal psychology followed soon thereafter by certification as a psychosynthesis life coach. She brings her wisdom and knowledge as a yoga teacher, creative expression arts facilitator, energy psychologist and a life transition coach to each coaching session. Karen is also a member of the faculty at Sofia University. Karen empowers and encourages her clients to embrace Transition as an Invitation to envision, create and manifest their next stage in life as one that is filled with Purpose, Meaning and Value. Karen is a contributing author to The Call of Self: Psychosynthesis Life Coaching, which is a journey to understanding transpersonally oriented life coaching where she shares her experience of the intersection of life coaching and volleyball coaching.
Karen is the mother of three adult daughters…all of whom she coached in club volleyball at one time or another. She is also grandmother to four young grandchildren and is recently married to her loving husband Chris.
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