At one point, your kid, will tell you either in the manner of their behaviour or in the manner of speaking, that they don’t need you anymore. However, this is a small truth, not the ultimate truth. What they need from you is for you to do an upgrade.
There is so much going on on the inside of children that is not visual to you and for you to realise what is going on, you would have to be looking for it. So what are you looking for? How do you know you have found it? By asking questions and being, as the child, in wonder. And, you have to get out of the state of mind of how much the child needs you. That they are reliant on you for everything.
Yes, of course they need you to provide a warm and nourishing home, they need food and they need love and physical touch in spades. What they also need is room, to grow. To do what they need to do to become the grown up they are aligning up to be. Their unique person.
In this time of their resistance, it is not the time for you to be offended and feel rejected, even though your heart aches for the closeness with your child. You are not being rejected, it is your behaviour that is being rejected.
The constant change
We put our heart and soul into being what we consider as being the closest to the ideal parents as we can. Spending almost every waking hour thinking about how to to adjust ourselves, so our child gets the parent that they need. It is not unnatural to feel you are about to get fired as a parent when they blow off what up until today have been your greatest hits of parenting.
Of course your feelings are hurt, you felt like you finally nailed it! You cracked the code on this small human and the days were if not flowing, but mostly great, and the thought of “parenting wasn’t that hard after all”, and then – bam. Your child, changed.
The more you accept this, generally in life, that change will come and that it is actually a good thing, it is to your advantage. All you have to do is is look for the why in change is right. That is also the trick with your child.
Instead of looking for why something is wrong, and if you have missed out on anything with your child (and looking for why you are being a bad parent), you can flip it from looking for what is wrong to looking for what is right. In this day and age, the child doesn’t need as much protection as you think they do.
We tend to disregard the power of empowerment. It is like boosting your immune system. When you, or your child is reliant on other people, it is like being on constant medicine.
Similar to a growth spurt
In addition to aiming to protect your child, you might have, now or in the past, found it hard to connect with other people and how people function. You finally have this person in your life, a person you understand. Who you find several things in common with, and you are again, discovering the world, through a child’s eye. When did you stopped wondering, you started to become wrong.
During the kids growth from what is perceived as the terrible twos and way up to the early twenties (yes they will resist and rebel all the way up until early adulthood), it is easy to doubt yourself, but you are not wrong, as a person. You just have more to offer.
As the child is not conscious enough to form the words, they are through their actions and behaviour, being the invitation for you to be more of the parent you can be. It is like playing computer games. “Lets level up, mom, I know this level now. I am ready to try the next one.” However, if you keep insisting to playing level one, you will get one frustrated child. You would be too, if your leader at work didn’t let you embrace more challenges. As humans we thrive in mastering obstacles!
Just as they will have growth spurts they will also have independence spurts. They will realise more and more that they are able. Children will test out their abilities on you and out in the world. However, if you get in their way, you will feel the wrath of your child’s inner drive.
The invitation to change
If you think about it, and reflect about the last year and months, you might have noticed a thought visiting your mind that is new to you, so you’ve dismissed it, with a wrinkle of your eyebrows and disbelief. The thought that you are getting tired of being in service for your kid. This is the first hint of your mind recognising your child’s readiness to be more independent, to level up.
Listen to that feeling and you will feel more in alignment with your child’s constant change. And lets be real here, although you love being a parent, there will be a time where they don’t need you as much. They don’t need you to be available all the time anymore. It is a new area, where they have realised that they are not dependent on their parents. Still, they are not done learning from you, not by a long shot.
In your next level of parenting you are not so much of a hands-on leader but more of discussion and showing by doing. You are teaching how to become an independent grown up.
If you think back on to days as a teenager and how that felt like, you might remember that sense of freedom and joy, that it will be ok, that you will be ok, and that becoming a grown up is attainable. Success is within reach. This is the mindset your next work is set from. The feeling of mastering life.
Maybe you don’t feel you are there yet yourself? Then this is your invitation to flex that muscle with your teenager. As soon as you put your guard down and stop expecting to be the perfect parent, your joy, in being a parent, will also escalate. So, enjoy, the next level of parenting, whatever it may be, and boldly go where you never have gone before. Exploring new ways of being a parent, and as a person, until the next time you experience the resistance of your child knowing you have the tool to just level up.