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Watching your kids grow is a wonderful thing. When they are little, the milestones come thick and fast. We wonder at their first words and cheer along as they take their first steps. Even less glamorous milestones like using the toilet for the first time or sleeping without a nappy on are a cause for celebration. Then, as they get older, the milestones start to come less frequently, and our excitement and pride when they do arrive are mixed with a touch of sadness.
We’re proud on our child’s first day at school, but we’re sad that we’ll no longer have all of that quality time with them. We’re pleased when they start spending more time playing in their rooms, but we miss their chatter. We’re happy for them when they make firm friends and want to start going for sleepovers, but we’re worried that our time with our children is running out. With every development, they are a step closer to adulthood, and their time as a child is running down.
It can be all too tempting to try to delay the inevitable. To keep them young for as long as we can. Many parents are tempted to deny their children mobile phones and tablets because that’s a step on the road to the end of play. They know that Family Orbit offers best parental control app and that they’ll be able to keep their child safe, but they use safety as an excuse to hold them back. They try to keep their kids at home, limiting play dates and time with friends, for selfish reasons.
But doing this is delaying your child’s emotional and social growth. It’s holding them back, denying them the chance to make friends and form important relationships. Their childhood is a beautiful thing, but you shouldn’t try to extend it to avoid mourning it. Instead, you need to find ways to cope with them growing up, and prepare yourself for the future.
Find Things You’ve Got in Common
Your child growing up isn’t the end of your relationship. It’s just evolving and changing all of the time. When your kids have families and children on their own, you can still have excellent relationships with them, and there is always more to come.
Older children won’t want you to baby them anymore, and it’s fine to miss that phase, but now you can have something better. You can have genuine shared interests and passions. Try new hobbies together, visit places, talk about your interests and find things that you enjoy doing together.
Let Them Teach You Things
As your kids get older, their interests change. Some of the things that they love, you’ll know absolutely nothing about. So, let them teach you. Enjoy their passion and their enthusiasm, and let them relish swapping roles for a while.
Make Plans for the Future
It’s entirely normal to feel sad when you look back at the past. It’s okay to look at old photos and miss your baby. So, don’t do it too much. Instead, look to the future. Make firm plans with your child, for things that you can do together now, and things that you can do when they are even older. Just try to keep an open mind, they might not be exactly who you expect them to be in the years to come.
You are probably already enormously proud of the person that your child is becoming. But, are you proud of your own role in their successes? When they pass a milestone, your role in huge. Even as they get older and start taking on more responsibility, you have a role. Don’t be sad that they are moving on in their lives, be proud of them, and of yourself for raising them and always being there for them.
When we have children, most of us assume that we will always be close. But, for many people, this isn’t the case. The teenage years can be tough, and many adult children have distant relationships with their parents. The key to maintaining a close relationship as your child gets older is communication. Keep talking, try not to be critical, and remember what it was like to be young.
Start a Project
If you are really struggling with your children growing up, find something to take your mind off it. Find a project — something that you can do now that you’ve got a little more freedom. It’s not just your kids that now have more independence. You also get more time to yourself as they get older.