By Amy Fleming
Graduation day has finally arrived. You’re watching your pride and joy dressed in a cap and gown, approaching the stage to receive their hard earned certificate. Furiously taking photographs to capture this precious time forever, you may even start to cry. But… are these tears of joy? Or dread for what the future holds?
It should be a wonderful time to watch a child graduate. As a parent you are bound to experience a plethora of mixed emotions, ranging from extreme happiness to uncontrollable despair.
“Where has the time gone?” you scream, “My baby has grown up so fast!”
How can a doting parent, such as yourself, learn to let go and allow your little ones to spread their wings and fly away into the unsure world of adulthood?
If you’re struggling to face these inevitable changes, you’re not alone. There is even a condition called ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’, which may describe some of your current emotions.
Empty Nest Syndrome refers to feelings of depression, sadness or grief felt by parents after their children come of age and leave their childhood homes. This may occur when your child graduates or gets married.
No one ever said raising a child was easy, or that it ever gets easier. But hey, these on-going challenges are what life is truly all about. And when your child reaches the ‘terrible teens’ and suddenly decides they no longer need your advice and guidance, deep down they still do. Young adults venturing out on their own are sure to make many mistakes- how else will they learn? Be patient, supportive and allow them to enjoy the freedom of youth without added pressure and worry.
The ultimate goal of any parent should be to raise a loving, self sufficient adult. Once they stop needing you as much, that can only mean you’re on your way to accomplishing this. Remember, they will always remain your child, no matter what their age. Enjoy the company of your new young adult and be proud, as they will soon be a contributing member of society- a fantastic result of all your efforts in taking good care. And celebrate this by enjoying a fabulous graduation ceremony!