Mom Won’t Let Me Grow Up

Dear Dr. Bill,

 

I’m in my mid-20’s and the youngest of three children.  My mom seems to refuse to recognize that I’m an adult now.  How I can transition from her child to her peer and friend?

 

–Kathy

 

Dear Kathy,

 

Your mom may have difficulty “letting go,” allowing you to fully separate from the parent-child relationship and move into full adulthood.

 

This may be even more of an issue if your parents don’t have a close marital relationship or have grown apart in recent years.

 

The empty nest years can seem threatening to a woman who feels distanced from her husband and has directed all of her emotional energy toward her kids.

 

If your mother refuses to let go, you will need to start establishing healthy boundaries.  This may require much more assertiveness on your part.

 

Let your mother that you love her, but as a woman in your mid-20’s, it is time for you to start establishing more emotional independence.

 

She may feel rejected and hurt by your desire to separate, but it is important for her to understand that this is a normal part of development.

 

You also need to do your part to make sure you are not “enabling” your mother to keep you in a child-like role.  If you count on your parents for financial support, make your car payment, or allow your mother to do your laundry every weekend, you are contributing to the problem.

 

An excellent book that will help you move forward is “Boundaries” by Dr.’s Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

 

Thanks for writing Kathy.

 

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.