The Hardest Part of Parenting

The hardest part of parenting it’s not when your kids disobey you. It’s not watching them fail I’m picking up the pieces afterward.

Parenting isn’t difficult because it takes a lot of time cost a lot of money and requires sacrifice. Parenting is difficult because ultimately your children are going to reject you.

Psychologists call it individuation.  Most parents experience it as rejection.  For a child to grow into an adult, individuation is a critical phase. During that phase, your status as a parent is going to be downgraded in the eyes of your child.  There’s no escaping this downgrade.  And it’s going to hurt most likely.  But that’s okay, right?  After all, children need to grow up!

For the most part healthy parents sit back watch their children individuate cheering them on hoping for the best and supporting as much as they  dare.  In some cases however a child’s need to individuate takes them to dark places. 

It is in these examples that parents truly suffer.  The favored status you had with your child; whatever credibility you enjoyed is out the window.  Meanwhile, your children are viewing you as the enemy of their independence, well-being, success, and sometimes sanity.

It is during these times that many parents turn or return to therapy or life coaching.  In most cases what happens next is a simple reminder:  This happens to everyone. 

A life coach or counselor who practices the appropriate mindset for healers will be able to deliver the news gently and support the individuation process.

Even the best parents must learn to let go and set their children free.  Part of that process is recognizing that your parental wisdom is now seeing as tomfoolery by your beloved child.

And that’s how it works.