The summer season brings lots of changes and transitions. As a parent of young children, you may start to have a bit of panic about summer plans. When children are young, summer camps can be a haven for both parents and children. Parents do not want their children bored and stuck on electronics, so your summer is filled with vacation, downtime, and camps. When your children are a bit older, then they start to navigate their summer, creating plans to hang out with their friends, maybe sleep away camps, and of course, family vacation. Child-rearing can make you feel like you are working on autopilot. The day-to-day and year-to-year can sometimes feel like a blur. However, there’s a sudden stop when your child is wrapping up their senior year in high school, and they are on their way to college as adults. Or what about when your child is graduating college and is on the path of starting adult life. How do you transition as a parent from parenting to consulting?
As a parent coach, I help parents through all the different stages of parenting. My most significant client load is parents of young children, but my families get older as time moves forward, so do the children. However, parents don’t typically change their parenting techniques with older kids. The goal as a parent is to prepare your child for adulthood, but I learned through the years that nobody prepares the parents for their children becoming adults.
Parenting VS Consulting
Parenting is hard, it’s a high-stress 24-hour job, with no time off, and your customer is not always the nicest. Your work is scrutinized, critiqued and the fatigue is nonstop. Parenting often feels overwhelming and will challenge you in ways you did not even know exist. While there are lots of highs and lows, parenting is incredibly rewarding. Parenting is necessary during the early years of development for a child’s safety, survival, comfort, and resource to tap into later.
Consulting is low-stress, high rewards, and a part-time job. When you have been promoted to a consultant, your advice is highly sought after. As a consultant, you are not caught up on the day-to-day management but big picture items. When I became a mom, I saw the importance of having my mom as a consultant, she still wanted to be a parent, but it was not what I needed. I wanted to know how to navigate this new stage. Consultant prepares the next generation for parenting.
The first step to transition is letting go of control. You spent years planning everything, from playdates to doctors’ appointments, but when your child starts their journey into adulthood, they need your help navigating and not for you to make these arrangements. Start your transition when kids are in high school, let go of controlling everything, and allow them to start creating and setting their schedules. When your child is driving, they are capable of setting and attending their appointments. When you allow your child to do this, it will help them navigate when they are away.
Parents of adult children must let go of the fact that now they will simply be told about what’s going on. The adult child may even choose not to do that, and that is okay. As an adult, your child is trying to figure out exactly how to set boundaries that they are comfortable with and want their parents to follow.
It does not matter the stage, early or young adulthood; both conversations should be taken seriously and done honestly. It should be a judgment-free zone and a time for you as the parent to see the adult that your child is becoming.
It’s okay to be Sad
When my daughter graduated from kindergarten, I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that I would experience. However, because she was the baby and it hit me that I would not do this again, all her last will also be my last chance to experience these milestones. As a parent, it is okay to feel sad about these upcoming transitions. When your child is consulting with you, it may feel like they no longer need you, which can be an incredibly emotional feeling. If you feel sad about it, it’s okay. However, remember that you have now been promoted to a consultant because you did a good job parenting.
Beatrice (Bea) Moise, M.S., BCCS., is a Board-Certified Cognitive Specialist, Parenting Coach, Writer, and National Speaker. She is the creator of A Child Like Mine, LLC, a company created for educating parents of children with unique behavioral and learning needs while giving them the tools they need to be successful at home. She is a respected and trusted parenting coach and consultant in Charlotte, NC, and surrounding areas. Helping parents of children with Autism, ADHD and other behavioral challenges. Bea is frequently featured on WCNC Charlotte Parenting Today, and has been featured on People of Charlotte, Peace & Parenting, Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting & Ballantyne Magazine providing tips for parents. Bea has written for PBS-Kids, AAPC-Publishing, PsychCentral, Charlotte Parent Magazine, Autism Parenting Magazine, Carolina Parent, and Scoop Charlotte. Bea has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology; also, she also holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling with a specialty of Applied Behavior Analysis. Bea and her husband have two children, Jacob, who is awesomely autistic, and Abby, who is simply marvelous!