As your child grows older, there will be times when you feel your child doesn't need you any more. This can be quite tough to deal with. You're used to being the center of your child's world, but now you can see they're becoming more independent. It can feel as though you're redundant and unwanted. Here are some tips on coping when you feel your child doesn't need you any more …
1. It's Normal
When you feel your child doesn't need you, try to remember that it's normal for them to develop this way. They're growing up and discovering their independence. That's what you want. And your feelings are also normal. It's hard to see them needing you less and less. But however old they get, they'll always need you - just in different ways.
2. Channel Your Focus
When your children are small, they take up a lot of your energy and focus. So when they start to grow up, you can feel at a loss as to what to do with yourself. Channel your focus into something else. Have other things going on in your life. It could be a good time to work on your career, for example.
3. Let Them Come to You
Even though your kids are growing up and becoming more independent, there will be times when they still need you. Let them know that they can still come to you when they need help or advice, but leave it to them to decide when. This allows them to assert their growing autonomy, but still have the option of turning to Mom and Dad.
4. Try Not to Stifle Them
Some parents react to their child's attempts to become more independent by trying to stand in their way. This can become stifling, and will likely make your child resentful. It may also mean that they find it difficult later on to stand on their own two feet. Children do need to learn to sort things out for themselves and to take responsibility, or they'll find adult life difficult .
5. Look to the Future
Sure, it's sad that they're no longer the adorable tot that they were, and that they don't need you so much. But there's so much to look forward to. Enjoy knowing that there will be many landmarks in your child's life. You'll watch them graduate high school and college, see them get their first job, find a partner, and maybe have children of their own.
6. Enjoy Your Growing Independence
It's not just your children that are becoming more independent. Make the most of your increasing freedom from parental responsibilities, and take the chance to do more things that you enjoy. You'll have more time to devote to hobbies or your career.
7. Doing Your Job Right
Part of your role as a parent is to teach your kids to be independent and go out into the world. So if they're starting to show signs of needing you less, that's actually a good thing and shows that you're doing a good job. Be proud of yourself and of your child.
Although there is a sad aspect to seeing your children grow up, there's also so much that's positive. Besides, in all honesty you wouldn't really want them to be hanging around forever! Are you dreading your kids growing up and needing you less?