You feel a lot of pain as your adolescent is pushing away from you to gain their independence. What is happening?
During childhood, they were dependent on you to make decisions for them and to take care of their basic needs. When they became adolescents, they started onto a long pathway toward adulthood. Think about that. One of the most important qualities that will help them be a successful adult is to become independent. You want them in the future to make their own decisions and to live on their own. It is always surprising to parents that for independence to happen, there must be separation first.
You might be wondering why this happens so abruptly as they become 9 or 10 years old. During adolescence, their brains are going to make that happen. The rapid development that is going on inside their head is how they will be transformed into a young adult. This is good, but there are draw-backs and the transition can be painful at times.
- Your adolescent is going to fight you just about every time they sense you are making decisions for them.
- They will resist when you try to organize their plans or even suggest a plan.
- At those times when they need you to do something for them, anger rather than gratitude will likely be their response.
The most confusing part of this push for independence is that you never know what to expect. One minute your adolescent is angry and frustrated with you and within a few minutes, they want to snuggle next to you. The path to independence is riddled with emotional ups and downs as their brain transforms them into a young adult. But let’s be encouraged by this thought….
Your adolescent’s mind is changing, but not their heart.
Your will always have their heart no matter what is going on inside their head. You will both survive this separation experience and learn to share your hearts in a new way. You will also have some entertaining stories to share in the years ahead.