Letting Go Of Grown Children
By: Rachael
April 24, 2024

How Letting Go Can Improve Your Relationship


You watch your little babies grow into toddlers, into school kids, into teenagers, and then into young adults. Through every stage in their development, you know one day they will be out in the world on their own, chasing their dreams and cultivating the life they have envisioned for themselves.

Each new developmental stage brings different joy as you watch them discover who they are, their place in this world, and slowly begin separating from the family. You logically know that is an important step in your child’s development, but it doesn’t mean you easily accept each stage, especially as they grow into young adults and venture out on their own. As a parent, you have been the one they looked to for answers, cried to, and shared their struggles with. You helped mold them into who they are yet letting go of grown children can be very difficult for a parent.

It’s normal to feel every emotion when you are letting go and you watching your child create their own life. You may feel sadness, relief, joy, nervousness, and/or a sense of pride. Some of the feelings may make sense, while others make you wonder. Recognizing and sitting with any emotion you are feeling regarding your grown children is very important for your ongoing relationship. It helps to realize it’s alright to feel how you are feeling and to not let it alter how you see your child. Taking the time to reflect on your own feelings as a young adult and your relationship with your own parents at that time can be helpful.

While you are reflecting, you will need to list your expectations for your adult child; what do you expect for holidays, family events, traditions, calls and visits? Let yourself envision the relationship and future memories you want to create together. After you have let yourself dream and list expectations, ask yourself if they are realistic and once again, think back to yourself as a young adult. The next step is to sit down with your child and talk to them about your expectations and let them voice their own. Keep in mind they will change overtime and you will need to adapt as life continues. In doing so, you will be able to keep a healthy relationship with your adult child, while letting you both stay in open communication on expectations.

You will grieve different stages of your child as they continue to grow, but continue to think into the future of all the beautiful memories you have yet to create. It’s difficult to let go, especially as they create their own family. However, letting go can create a wonderful adult relationship with your child, instead of trying to hold on to your previous relationship, which potentially could push them away. You owe it to both you and your child to grow alongside of them.