How to Face the Mourning When Children Left Home?
According to experts in family psychology, it is important that parents support their children in their new stage of adulthood, but do not assume their responsibilities or obligations. The independence of children is a natural process that you have to know how to deal with..
LatinAmerican Post | Yenny Rodríguez Barajas
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Leer en español: ¿Cómo afrontar el duelo por la independencia de los hijos?
"I'm leaving home, I want to be independent, make my decisions and be responsible for them!" Carolina, a 20-year-old girl, said to her parents, a day like any other. "I have a schedule -she continued-, with the relation of the income that I receive from my work on weekends and the monthly expenses. I know it won't be easy, but I want, from this moment on, to continue on my own." While Carolina continued recounting her plans with great enthusiasm; Mom and Dad were filled with sadness. They were distressed and even frustrated in their role as parents. Nothing is further from reality! The independence of children is a normal process in which ties must be strengthened and security provided.
According to psychologist Diana Patricia Castañeda Guerrero, coordinator of the Psychology program at the Politécnico Gran Colombiano, when young people decide to become independent, it is not due -in most cases- to fleeing from some family crisis. "Arises from the need to strengthen their autonomy and freedom, which implies assuming responsibilities of all kinds, including economic"
Leaving home generates anguish and uncertainty in the family. But it is a decision that parents must not only accept, but support and even encourage them to become responsible adults. "It is important to support them, accompany them in this process of independence, generation, autonomy, and creation of an adult world in which they will have more freedoms and more responsibilities," said the expert.
According to a UNICEF study "Adolescence in Latin America and the Caribbean: guidelines for policy formulation", behind the rebellious attitude of adolescents, there is a search for meaning that goes beyond the model that the modern adult world offers them. It is a search that pursues the value of the social in the relationship between themselves and the environment, beyond market values. Above production and reproduction, there is the relationship with friends and peers, affection, love, pleasure. Therefore, the verb that best characterizes them is "go out": get out of childhood and leave the house, go out to experiment, to search, go out with someone, open up to the world beyond the family universe.
The exit feels like a duel, because it is a separation. They will have to experience changes in routines, and even readjustment in the spaces of the house, the nest is empty. Precisely, this is the name by which the emotional reaction that some parents present after the departure of their children from home is known. You may experience sadness, loneliness, a feeling of emptiness or guilt. However, it is important to recognize that it is a normal process and that it is important to support the process of independence of the children, and to fully live the new stage of life. Looking for new hobbies, strengthening friendships and the relationship as a couple, and seeking professional help if needed, are some tips for living through this stage.
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How to support children in the process of becoming independent?
The ideal is to accompany them in the process. Teach them the proper management of money, according to fixed and occasional expenses. Warn them about the many distractions they will find along the way, and, it arose only from them, not to stray from their goals and projects. Achieve assertive communication, which will alleviate the anxieties that they may feel at some point.
“When they are independent, they must assume the payment of their services, rent, food, and other fixed and occasional expenses. Parents can support them with payments like the college semester, but nothing more than that. It is important for them to understand that being an adult is about making decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions. It is not correct, that they seek to have freedom, but without responsibility”, explained the psychologist and academic coordinator of the School of Psychology of the Sergio Arboleda University, Laura Ortiz.