From the moment that tiny baby is placed in your arms, a piece of your heart is officially living outside of your body. There is nothing quite like it. Before this moment you only had to worry about yourself and now this little being is constantly on your mind. While you would assume that time, age and maturity would lessen this ache, that is not always the case. Thus, how do you stop worrying about your grown child?
It will take time and effort to develop a mindset that will ease the worry away but it can be done if you are willing to take a few steps to adopt that mindset.
1. Work On Acceptance
Even with the best intentions, you will never fully be in control of your child’s fate. This understanding comes early for the parents of children who become sick or tend to be a bit more accident-prone.
However, for the lucky few who have managed to have an easier time throughout the first eighteen years of their child’s life, the transition into adulthood can be much more difficult.
Accepting that your grown child can take care of themselves is a leap of faith that every parent has to endure. Birds shove their young out of the nest to teach them how to fly and harp seals leave their pups floating on the ice to fend for themselves.
We thankfully have a bit more time to ready our offspring to manage on their own, so first, take solace in the fact that you have prepared them well over the first quarter of their life.
2. Practice Mindfulness
“Our life is shaped by our mind, we become what we think.” This quote from Buddha really emphasizes how powerful our mind really is.
The concept of mindfulness involves completely focusing your attention on the present and taking the time to acknowledge your feelings, doubts, and concerns. Many times this can be achieved through meditation, whereas others reach this mental state through exercise and prayer.
In fact, those who engage in yoga utilize this practice regularly. The slow movements and intricate poses require one to fully center themselves in the moment, releasing their anxieties at the door.
By engaging in mindfulness routinely, studies have shown that you can reduce stress, lessen pain and even lower blood pressure.
Whatever your belief system may be, take time once a day to breathe deeply and center yourself in the quiet of nature. Turn off your phone, computer, and television. Then go outside and close your eyes.
Take a deep breath — inhaling on a four-count and exhaling on a six-count. Repeat this process until you begin to feel calmer.
During this time, think about the achievements your child has made, the obstacles they have overcome, and the things that you have taught them because this will show you that they are equipped to handle more than you may think.
Moreover, try to remember that you cannot control anyone but yourself. Therefore, your best option is to find faith in the fact that your child is a smart savvy individual who can take on any challenge that is presented to them.
3. Remind Them Of Your Presence
Just because your grown child has left home to venture out into the big, “bad” world on their own does not mean that they cannot ask for help.
Make it known that they can still come to you in a time of need. While you always want your child to be a successful, independent person, there is nothing wrong with having a safety net nearby.
Additionally, by extending the invitation to accept assistance in hard times, you will simultaneously give yourself the peace of mind that they won’t attempt to deal with problems on their own.
4. Unplug From The World
“Out of sight, out of mind.” John Heywood
One of the best ways to stop worrying about your grown child is to sometimes let yourself be oblivious to the negativity of your surroundings. When we constantly see horrible things happening, it allows our minds to wander into dark places.
As someone who has worked in the news industry for a decade, I can tell you that the saying in most newsrooms is “if it bleeds, it leads”. Uplifting stories are fantastic every once in a while, but viewership depends on drama and heartache.
While the intent is to create conversation and change, it also stirs doubt in the minds of mothers and fathers who brought their children into a world that they hoped would be good. Thus, avoid getting sucked into the sadness and immerse yourself in uplifting activities.
Turn off your devices. Get outdoors. Go to church. Spend time with friends. Volunteer in your community. Make a difference in someone else’s life. Choose kindness, especially in moments of stress. You would be amazed at the ripple effect that occurs when you pay it forward.
5. Maintain Strong Relationships With Your Kids
If you never hear from your kids, worry is inevitable.
For those who have built a strong foundation of love, trust, and respect with their children, maintaining a bond can be quite simple. Plan regular visits and make a point to reach out once a week. This can give you the opportunity to check in on how they are doing.
It is important to note that making an effort to spend time with one another is a two-way street. Don’t expect them to always come home to see you. Take the initiative to travel to them every once and a while. Give them a call or send them a text. Doing a video chat with them is also a great way to connect and see their faces even if you are thousands of miles away.
By consistently engaging with them, you can provide support during times of need and have the chance to relish in their triumphs. By hearing about your child’s successes, it can make a huge difference in lessening your level of worry and stress.
6. Talk About Goals
One of the reasons why many parents worry about their grown child is due to the fact that they might not be sure about what the future hold for them. The child has been supported and has had a safe place to be all their life and now, they are going to be exposed to the real world as an adult.
Many children don’t have any vision of what they want to do or achieve in this life and this can make any parent worried that they will be struggling or lost on their own.
This is why it is important to talk about their goals and what they want to accomplish through the journey of life. This will give you a road map of what steps they will be taking to build them selfs up and become successful in the future.
If they are struggling to come up with goals, it would be best to sit down and have a discussion on what they see themselves wanting to do and writing down the steps to get there. This will ensure that they at least have an idea of the next step to take in life.
For example, if you have a 22-year-old son who has no direction in life, you would sit down and go over that available paths. He can go to college and get a degree, he can start working more to invest, he can maybe start a business. There are many things out there that a 22-year-old can do in this life and just having a simple conversation with them can set them up on a good trajectory.
7. Find Support From Other Parents
Every good parent worries about their babies, no matter what their age is. Sometimes the best way to remove some of your stress is to know that you are not alone in this scenario. Find support and comfort by talking to other moms and dads.
Discuss the ways they handle this type of stress and how they deal with issues with their children who do not live close by. These conversations can help you to gain perspective and allow you to find alternative ways to cope with your feelings of unrest about your grown child.
Final Thoughts – How To Stop Worrying About Your Grown Child
Let’s be honest, there is never going to be a scenario where you fully stop worrying about your grown child. If you truly love and care for a person, then it is inevitable that you will have a genuine concern for their well-being.
However, it is important to not let this worry consume your life. Therefore, it is imperative that you find ways to lessen this burden and find some reprieve.
It can also help to reach out to your loved one and let them know that you would appreciate if they could find the time to regularly give you updates on their life.
Set a day each week to check in and say hello! If you don’t hear from them on that day, then you have an actual need for concern. Otherwise, trust that they are doing well! This can serve as a fantastic method of decreasing your anxieties and maintaining your relationship with your adult child.