Launching your child brings a host of emotions. For most parents, it’s a bittersweet experience. Feelings of loss, fear, excitement, and satisfaction are some of the more common emotions parents have to work through. But launching your child doesn’t mean the end of your relationship or influence.
Like most parents, I remember the day we launched our first child. He was eager to begin a new season of life. Starting a new chapter is both exhilarating and scary for a young adult. Tom and I were excited for him, but we were a little sad because it meant our lives were changing too.
I’ve learned the experience of launching a child isn’t the same for every child. We were a little more nervous with some than others. Temperament, readiness, and security were on our minds.
Launching the Last Child
Recently, we launched our fifth child. As he sorted through his belongings, trying to decide what stayed and what got packed, I noticed something I hadn’t paid attention to with the others. He purged many childhood memorabilia that had sat on his shelves for years. Things that were once so important to him were now discarded. I didn’t say much because he had to decide without my adding any commentary.
Then, we loaded up his belongings and drove to his new home. He was eager to start this new season of life. It was time, and we all knew it.
I was a little surprised I didn’t experience the same emotions I had with my firstborn. I didn’t cry and I didn’t worry about losing contact with him. Time and wisdom had a lot to do with that. Over the years, I’ve come to realize launching a child doesn’t mean losing our relationship or influence. On the contrary, I found both of those got stronger once they moved out.
Tips to Prepare for the Day You Launch Your Child:
- Pray with them and for them.
- Try to make sure they leave on good terms.
- You can’t script their launch or your reactions.
- Remember, they are moving out, not moving away from your relationship.
- Manage your expectations.
- Don’t put a lot of requirements on them to call you or come visit.
- Shower them with confident boasting words. They need to know you believe in them.
- Let them know you’ll always be there for them.
- Accept that your life is changing, and that is normal.
- Find little ways to communicate your love for them.
Children are supposed to grow up make their way in the world. They don’t forget what you’ve taught them. Allow them to figure their new life out.
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- Learn more about Connie’s book Parenting Beyond the Rules
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