AS THE child gets older, they become independent and less clingy. Some are no longer that very intimate and are uncomfortable when being kissed or hugged by their parents before going to school. It is the time when they make other plans outside the family ring and would opt to spend more time with their friends.
All of those hurt parents much and this is the time when you will often hear them say, “nagbago na ang mga anak ko, I wish they have not grown up.”
I would like to share three common situations unconsciously done by growing-up kids that break the hearts of their parents. I hope parents would understand that every growing kid can experience this and it does not mean they don’t love their parents anymore but it is only part of growing up.
“Mama, please naman, doon ka na sa room mo. Give me a break.”
It is so painful when you enter your child’s room to inquire about how his or her day went but they would just simply dismissed you by saying, “okay lang” while immediately covering their faces with pillows.
And when you continually urge them to talk to you, you cannot connect to them well since they are busy with their phones. The worst thing is when they ask you to leave their rooms because they are going to finish some tasks and your presence is not helping them. These can truly break your heart but remember that the desire for more privacy is a natural part of adolescence. They do not just need space or room of their own but what they need is a psychological space. The days where they used to run after you everywhere you go are over. This time, they want to do things on their own.
“Bakit mo tinitingnan cellphone ko? That is an invasion of privacy.”
Gone are the days where your kids will tell you everything. It is at this stage that they will learn to keep secrets -- it will make you more paranoid because their cellular phones now have passwords and what is more sad is when you hear your own kids’ stories of struggles and joys instead from other people you least expect.
So, accept the fact that your children have things they share only with their peers and that secrecy goes along with the natural process of growing up.
“Give me the money na lang po. I’ll buy my clothes of my choice.”
And when was the last time you go shopping to buy things for your kids which you think are best for them?
Now, they have become less appreciative of your gifts and your invitations to go out with them are usually rejected. Other kids will say “I want to stay at home” or “I need to see my classmates to finish an assignment.”
The most painful thing is when it seems like everything you think that is best for them from clothing, shoes, menu and etc. do not please them anymore. They have formulated their own version of what is best for them.
In other words, your preferences are no longer their choices. But then again, this is all about independence – they are now learning to think critically and make safe decisions on their own. And parents should be happy because their children are beginning to experience the real world.
Parents should not wish their children not to grow up. Instead, they should journey with their children’s natural process of changing developing, and maturing. No matter how it hurts, parents should freely begin to let go of their children -- give them more time with themselves, allow them to go out with friends and respect their choices.
There is nothing wrong with the way we continuously monitor our children but let us keep them safe in a trusting environment and guide them to behave responsibly. Remember that it is love when we allow them to fly and see them be full of joy. Let us be the guiding wind beneath their wings!
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 10, 2017.
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