I am at that place as a parent. The one where I need to learn to let go all over again.
My son is 17 in one week and is having a few personal issues in his life; school work, future plans, girlfriend, the usual. But as a mum I have always prided myself on maintaining an open relationship, that we could talk about anything and my kids had no need to keep things from me.
But, it transpires, that no matter how much they love us, how much they trust us, there comes a time when they want to talk through their problems with their peers, their trusted friends rather than mum or dad.
And it hurts.
I get it, I understand it, heck, I even encourage it – after all haven’t I been raising him to be independent from day one?
But, like the pain of letting go when they were little – this one is just as hard to take.
To make matters worse, I committed the worst crime imaginable – unintentionally, but still – the effect is the same: I overheard him talking in his room, to a friend on the phone and discovered something he truly does not want me to know.
So what am I to do? I can’t approach him – because I am not supposed to know. I can’t advise him because he needs to make his own decisions and I can’t offer to help because that the is the absolute LAST THING he wants to happen.
I know part of me ‘wants to know’ what’s going on for purely nosey reasons – I am a woman after all, but it is so hard to sit by and watch as his heart is breaking.
I am keeping the channels of communication open, and try to hug him regularly, repeating ‘I love you’ and ‘We are here if you need us’, all the time knowing he is hurting so badly and will not share it with me.
I am sharing this in the hope that other parents of teenagers – (and let me tell you this is a Great Kid here, never a problem, hard worker, empathic, sensitive, a joy) – can share some words of wisdom to soothe my saddened heart.
They say a problem shared is a problem halved, so thanks for sharing my burden.