Being a parent is a unique experience that no amount of advice or stories can prepare you for. We are taught how to handle children when they are younger but what happens when they become adults? If you are like most parents, you worry about your children even when they’ve grown into adulthood. While this is normal, constant worrying can negatively impact your health.
Even though the first year of parenthood is the hardest, it does not mean that all the challenges disappear when they become adults. Society expects parents to naturally let go of their children with time, but that’s not the reality. As a parent, you care about the wellbeing of your child every day. But as we know, anything without limits eventually turns into a problem.
Parental Worry Affects Sleep Quality…
According to one paper published by the Journal of Gerontologist (1), parents who worry about their adult children even after they’ve left home, significantly increased their risk of sleep disorders. This study was conducted by researchers from Penn State University and included over 180 middle-aged couples.
We all agree that children are precious gifts that are meant to be cherished and loved, but there comes a time when you need to give them their space to be independent. If your worries continue to disrupt your sleep pattern, it can lead to memory, mood, and learning issues (2). So, the question now is how do you deal with your worries?
Here are 4 tips to help you worry less about your adult children
Pay attention to the things that matter: Most parents wear themselves out by always trying to do too much for their adult children. Be brave enough to ignore the small things and focus more on what matters in your parent-child relationship. Avoid being a controlling parent and your children will appreciate that you trust them. Worrying about every little detail of your children’s life won’t just make you lose sleep, it will negatively impact your mental health too.
Believe in your parenting skills: Every good parent wants to be the ideal role model for their children, but things don’t always turn out the way you want them to. You need to be confident in your ability as a parent. Believe that you have done your best and that you’ve given them some good advice along the way.
Don’t be that overprotective parent: It is the desire of every parent that their children live a much better life than they did, but life is not perfect. You can’t always be there to shield your children from mistakes; instead, you should focus on helping them learn valuable lessons.
Without failure, there is no growth. Our zeal to succeed comes from the will to overcome the obstacles we face. You need to realize that failure is the foundation for success and not the end.
Create and maintain boundaries: One of the most important lessons you’ll teach your children is how to maintain boundaries; you can start by being the example. Boundaries help us understand other people and protect our mental health.
Avoid calling or texting your kids too much and respect their privacy. As much as you want to nurture your children, you need to accept that they might not be willing to talk to you about certain things. You should be there for them and let them know that you support them. Plus, setting boundaries with your kids will also help you worry less.
Once a Parent, Always a Parent…
Parenthood has no retirement date. Once you’ve had a child, you’re part of their life and whatever affects them also affects you. This is why you should learn to manage your worries. Don’t deceive yourself that once your kids become adults, you’ll have peace of mind as studies have shown that this is not the reality.
Losing sleep over your children can be detrimental to your physical and mental health, so give yourself a break knowing that you’ve done your best to give them the tools they need to lead a good life. You trained them. You taught them all you know. Now it’s time to let the bird fly its own path.