When you think about starting a family, you imagine what it’s like to hold a darling baby in your arms. You think about how adorable toddlers are and how fun it would be to help coach your son’s baseball team. But when thinking about future children, your fantasies may stop sometime around college graduation because you mistakenly believe that at that point, your worries will be over. However, that is not the case; because once your son is an adult, you will most likely just worry about him in a different way. It’s hard to let your daughter follow her own path without enlightening her at every turn. Although it’s virtually impossible for any parent to completely stop worrying about their grown children, they can learn to loosen the grip.
Talk to your friends about their experiences with their grown children. Friendly support can go a long way once you understand that others worry about their children just as you do. Together perhaps you can help each other to focus more on living your own lives by communicating with, rather than constantly worrying about your own children.
Keep a journal and write down the things that worry you. Also, ask yourself what is the worst that can happen. In many cases, the end result wouldn’t be as catastrophic as you might envision.
Realize that just as you have your own path, your grown children have their own path to follow. You can’t smooth life over for them before it happens. Chances are, your son already knows he has your support. If he needs your advice, he will come to you and ask. There is a fine line between guidance and meddling.
Consider purchasing some books to read on the subject. Examples include, “Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children” by Allison Bottke; “Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with your Adult Children” by Dr. Ruth Nemzoff and “When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us: Letting Go of Their Problems, Loving Them Anyway, and Getting on with Our Lives” by Jane Adams, Ph.D.
Understand that worrying accomplishes nothing other than wasting time. Life is going to happen whether you are fretful or not. It’s very likely that most of the things you are worried about are not going to happen anyway. If they do, your family will deal with it then.
Keep communication open between you and your grown daughter or son. The fact that they are adults indicates that they may understand more about what you are feeling than you think. If your let your daughter know how much you worry about her, you may be surprised to find out that you are not the only person in the family capable of giving excellent advice.
Remember that it’s not your job to keep everyone happy.
Things You Will Need
- Self-help books
You can't expect yourself to stop worrying just like that. It's a learned process and will take time. Be patient with yourself.