5 Tips For Surviving When Your Children Don’t Need You Anymore

5 Tips For Surviving When Your Children Don’t Need You Anymore

My children don’t need me or want to spend time with me anymore.

It started when they wanted to hold the spoon containing green healthy goop that was being choo-choo’ed into their mouths and continued later when they told me every detail of their day including when so and so walked past at lunch time and didn’t even smile at them. “How dare you so and so!”

Now they are no longer children, they go out with their friends alone and then answer queries on how was their night with one word, like “fine” or “okay” or “geez mum what is this, the Spanish Inquisition?”

As younger children there was always an internal rough house skirmish when you wanted to be able to say “I’m here for you, I’m on your side” without them taking that to mean “it is my life’s work to wash cook and clean for you. Please don’t think you are intruding when you expect me to be available at any time of day for someone to pick you up and OH MY GOD what would I do without the job of dunging out the bathroom of all your gunk and muck.

Now that they are older, of course, you have all the time in the world to give to them but they don’t want it.

I am sad to say that my girls are at a point when they prefer to hang out with their friends than be with their parents.

I remember being there. God my parents were so boring when I was sixteen. They didn’t know anything, least of all how to live life. Conversely, my friends were so fun, we would hang out, watch T.V. and talk about the latest developments on Coronation Street and contemplate our navels. My parents didn’t know what they were missing.


You Have Done Your Job Now Let Them Go And Practice Being Adults

There comes a time when you can’t teach them. They need to be able to cut the apron strings and do it for themselves, put all the good stuff you’ve taught them into action.

They Will Come Back.

Things will sometimes go wrong and when they do they will want their Mum or Dad to help smooth things over just as they always have. You will need to be there for them.

A word of advice. Don’t nose-dive in like some she-devil looking to tear up anything or anyone who dared to hurt your child. No. That may have impressed in the past but now your new role is Spectator with a great pair of ears. There is nothing more mortifying to a 16-year-old than a mother on the warpath on their behalf.

Your Life Is Now Your Own

Stop whimpering in the corner about your loss and get out there. Your time is now your own and you can do anything you want. Put the energy you put into your kids into yourself. They turned out awesome and so could you.

The World Is Small

By that I mean there is facebook, skype, countless free text, and media sharing apps. Your kids and what they are doing is just a click away. Keep involved in other ways. Start a family group on one of the many free text apps and share your life moments.

Look to the future

You can now be a friend rather than a drill sergeant. Do fun things with your kids that weren’t possible when they were younger. Go out with them, shopping, lunch a drink at the pub. Enjoy their adult company. You have taught them well so you will have lots in common.

Are your children cutting the apron strings? How are you coping?

5 Tips For Surviving When Your Children Don’t Need You Anymore

13 Comments on “5 Tips For Surviving When Your Children Don’t Need You Anymore”

  1. I raised my son, now 24 completely on my own. He’s now a veterinary surgeon and moved out of home to be closer to his workplace and it seems he has no attachment to me. He had problems when he was younger that he kept secret. He was bullied at school when he was younger for being fat, and he couldnt fit in with the other boys in high school because he was gay. He has told me that as a result of being treated badly by others all the way through school, that he has learned not to get attached to anyone, although he has lots of friends who adore him – especially women. He always construes me in a negative view which I think is associated with his depression. He has recently taken up smoking quite heavily. He really wants to live an independent life without me in it. When I amicably told him that I’d let him do that and not contact him anymore, he genuinely and sincerely thanked me. Having him in my life isnt fun either – he loathes me and is horrible to me, so I felt I need to make my own life, I have started a social work degree. I feel so heartbroken but its proved impossible to have a nice relationship with him.

    1. It sounds as though he is really dealing with some unresolved issues Helen. There is not much you can do but let him have his space and be there if he does need you. I am sure he doesn’t loathe you but perhaps he carries anger and projects that onto you. I hope that he manages to deal with his issues and maybe in the future, he will realise that he does need his Mum after all.

  2. I have three sons my oldest lives in Texas with his family my second doesn’t speak to me u live with my youngest just recently he said I should think of visiting my aunt’s in Mexico for awhile but I know he really wants to be on his own I am not able to work I have no one else to turn to I need to be in CA for medical reasons but I guess I have to give my son his space it’s awful

    1. I imagine that is very difficult for you to think your youngest might move away. I guess they need their freedom and if you keep in touch and show you care hopefully they will make the effort too.

  3. I lost custody of my kids for moving across the county with out permission from the court. My daughter moved in other her dad when she was 12. She is 22 now. And wants nothing to do with me. My 16 yr old son quit coming to see me a year ago. Won’t give me a good enough reason why. Now my 11 year old don’t wanna come over. I have nothing wrong. I feel so broken

    1. I am so sorry Mary. It is so difficult when your kids start to live their own lives. Often when they have kids of their own they will migrate back. Hang on in there.

  4. Hi,
    I lost my oldest 23 yr old son four year ago right after my brother six weeks earlier. My children don’t call or only visit very briefly to get something. I raised them all on my own without any support of any kind. I did my best and gave them good lifes. I can’t imagine ever getting over this pain of rejection I love my children more than anything. How can life be so cruel.

    1. Hi Lyn,
      Firstly I am deeply sorry for the loss of your son so early in life. It must be painful that your children don’t make much time in their day for you. Well done though for bringing them up on your own, it is difficult enough with two parents to have done it alone is amazing. Hang on in there Lyn, your children will eventually understand the importance of a Mum in their lives. I think most kids go through a time when there is no room in their lives for anyone other than themselves and their friends. I am sure that will change.

    1. Aww, Jen, It is definitely an adjustment when we suddenly realise we are not their go-to person anymore and it does hurt. The relationship changes and is still good, just in different ways.

  5. But why do we have to tip toe around how they want to do things, no matter how much it might be hurtful or inconvenient. Do you tell them how you feel or just let on all is well

    1. I know what you mean Betty. They become fully independent and suddenly the tables are turned. We enjoy them and their company. It is such a different relationship to when we were doing everything for them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *