There comes a time when you have to let your children go. Not accepting that they grow up and claim their spaces in freedom and independence will be a source of suffering for everyone.
Last update: May 03, 2022
It doesn't matter if they're 15, 20 or 35, some parents are unable to accept the raising of children; they are reluctant to give way to everything that has to happen by natural law: children begin to make their own decisions, start loving relationships, make mistakes and discoveries, fight for their goals and, above all, leave the family home.
Each of these steps occur as part of a person's development, but are seen by many parents as a threat, but… A threat to what? Hyper parenting finds its meaning in care and overprotection. Any hint of independence and attempt to reclaim one's space is little more than an attack on identity of the parent.
Many of these men and women who at some point decided to become parents no longer conceive themselves in any other way. Thus, and almost without realizing it, they acquire an authoritarian role disguised as bearers of unconditional love, of an affection that is in fact poisoned, because it does not allow growth, much less freedom.
Philosopher Hannah Arendt once said that some families believe they are doing their duty, but they actually create generational conflicts and they fatally wound the essence of children, integrated into freedom itself.
Do not accept the growth of children: why does it happen?
Being a parent is a difficult task: you have to know how to offer love, but also distance. It is necessary protect and at the same time foster independence.
Raising a child means knowing how to set limits and at the same time leave a gap from which to be responsible. All this undoubtedly configures a complex profession that not everyone knows how to exercise.
It is not enough to follow instinct and in many cases there are those who let themselves be carried away by their needs and their unresolved shortcomings. For many, letting grow is synonymous with “losing”, letting go of something that one possesses; as if the children were a jewel to be kept because someone could steal it. Let's see, however, why this occurs.
You are the refuge of my shortcomings and I cannot let you go
When the child is small, it acts as that daily balm capable of relieving any pain in life and past and present frustration. They fill our hugs and have fun in our company, stifling any problems or desires.
Once they grow up, however, they don't seek or want to be their parents' refuge, they want to connect with their peers, challenge themselves in new scenarios outside the home.
The child will become a teenager and the teenager an adult while many parents continue to claim them for themselves. They expect them to retain their former innocence and be as manageable as a child. Children escape their control and this frustrates and saddens them.
I can't stand that you don't need me anymore
“Dear son, I need you to need me. Because when you do, you make me visible, you give me a use in this world and you make me feel important, as I feel I have an end in this life. Every year that passes you distance me, every year you grow up is more than a loss, it is also a way to challenge me, because without you knowing it, you show me that I am no longer worth anything ".
These sentences briefly summarize what it means for many parents to see their children gradually become adults capable of building their own lives. Almost an insult. However, the more complex aspect is that they don't hesitate to use manipulation to make them feel guilty.
They project on their children a sense of guilt for everything they do, no matter how insignificant it may be (going on a trip with friends, choosing a certain job, etc.).
Do not accept the raising of children: I will always take care of you (overprotection)
Overprotection is a disease. It is because it leaves serious consequences, in the parent who exercises it and in the child who suffers it. In most cases, this extreme caring, alienating, obsessive attention, and even domination behavior hides an anxiety disorder.
Children are everything to the parent and the very idea that something might happen to them or that they drift apart generates excessive fear in the overprotective father or mother.
But not only parents suffer from it. Interesting studies show that college students who have received an education based on overprotection experience significant levels of social anxiety during the first year.
Parents who do not accept their children to grow up, narcissistic parents who are no longer in control
Some parents do not accept that their children have grown up because it means they no longer have control over them. This happens above all to parents with a narcissistic profile, fathers and mothers who are used to mediating in every area of their children's lives from an early age.
Suddenly that boy or girl has reached that age where they can and should decide for themselves. From one day to the next they cease to be manageable for already having a plan for the future in which the parents will no longer be present. This generates frustration and severe annoyance in a narcissistic profile.
These situations occur with high frequency regardless of whether the child is 15 or even 40 years old. Some parents will never accept that their children have grown up because it is unbearable for them to see that they are now able to manage themselves and accomplish what they have not been able to achieve.