A young adult leaving home can trigger a range of emotions in parents, depending on the circumstances. The case of the thirty-year-old Michael Rotondo made national news in May of 2018 because his parents sought a court order to have him evicted from their house. One can only imagine the emotions these parents must have had. Saying goodbye to a member of the family, under any circumstance, is difficult. Each goodbye event – leaving home for college, starting a new job, living away from home, getting married, and welcoming grandchildren reminds us that the family we created will never exist again. Growing Apart: Letting Go of Our Young Adults is about navigating the contraction and expansion that occurs for families when members leave, and new members arrive.
Letting Go of Our Young Adults
This book is the sixth in a series of books aimed at helping parents launch and let go of their young adult. Facing the end of a family era when members start to leave can be a wrenching and devastating experience for some parents and a time of celebration for others. I have been inspired to write this book after spending countless hours listening to parents of young adults struggle with how to be capable parents of their young adult children. There appears to be an implicit myth or falsehood in our Western Culture that once a young adult leaves home, the parenting role ends. My further inspiration in writing Growing Apart is the fact that I am a married father of three married young adults and eight grandchildren. The family we created had three children, and the challenges of raising these three often seemed overwhelming. Now we face the daunting task of considering the expectations and sensitivities of fourteen people- six young adult parents and eight grandchildren.
Quick, Useful Tips
As I began to research and survey midlife parents of young adults, I was struck with the myriad of issues that arise for parents apart from their children. Parents are often facing midlife concerns of aging, changes in health, and managing pressures of elderly parents. Now weigh in the complexities inherent in relationships with married young adults and grandchildren, and this stage of development can be stressful for both generations. The challenge is finding the sweet spot of maintaining the connection with young adults and grandchildren while building a life apart from them. Growing Apart is a book packed with quizzes to help you identify your challenges and how you are doing as a midlife parent. Beyond this, there are plenty of tips, suggestions, and guidelines for how you can do better. It’s a quick read. If you’re willing, you can find useful tips that can make a real difference for you and your extended family.
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