Knowing When to Cut the Cord



There’s a certain amount of love and respect that we’re supposed to give to our parents. Depending upon how close we are with our families, how much we do exactly what they tell us, how much of an independent thinker we are, and whether we make our decisions in life based on what we feel, what our family teaches us or tells us to do, or whether it’s a combination of both, we eventually need to move out and start our own lives. Having said that, many times people struggle when it comes to moving out, and away from home, as well as, towards making decisions for themselves as an adult. 

Many young people are afraid to move out and start their own lives for different reasons. Sometimes, different cultures and religions promote young people staying close to their families, living at home, and even going to college and what not, nearby their parent’s home, for the sole purpose of their kids to stay close to their family. A lot of parents promote such closeness, because of their cultural feelings and backgrounds, because of certain morals and values that they have, or perhaps it’s even because they’re afraid to let go themselves. And therefore, it’s not always or merely their child that has most of the fear of letting go—it’s the parents too.

Many people listen to their parents, and sometimes, they do so, to an extreme extent. A lot of people will do nearly anything, and go completely out of their way to make sure that they don’t go against their families preference, their parents word, or God forbid, to do anything that would displease them. It’s kind of funny if you think about it, because toddlers that go through their “terrible twos,” eventually become preteens and teenagers which all tend to rebel and test their parent’s limits. Depending on how children are raised and brought up, they might rebel for the remainder of their lives.

Those children usually move out quickly, with ease, and sometimes, without even giving it a second thought. But those are not the types of people that I’m talking about here. I’m mostly referring to the types of young people that either won’t leave home, because there’s such a strong attachment where they feel the need to stay very close to their families, or towards those in which their parents had instilled certain feelings into them, leaving them with the desire to be close to the family, and many times, for a very, very, very long time. Those young are predominantly doing so at times, feeling guilty, and not only never wanting to displease their parents, but so that they’ll also feel proud of them and their choices—As if they wouldn’t otherwise.

Many times, young people struggle with letting go, starting their own lives, and fear being independent for the first time. It’s important that we all know and understand the importance of having independence, and becoming our own person. And this also goes for being able to make decisions for ourselves, because that’s definitely something that’s going to happen.
There’s a big problem with parents that have instilled a certain type of belief into their children that they need to stay close to their family to an extreme extent, and live at home or at least, very close by. You see, although those parents will go around telling people how wonderful it is, and how proud they are that their children are staying close to home, and might even go to college near them, they’re actually doing a disservice to their child by tying them down in such away.

Although education is wonderful, and I’m definitely a big promoter of even having my own children go to college and what not, I still believe in giving my children a certain amount of independence to where they can learn to become streetsmart, and learn things that they won’t teach you in school. And hey. I have my preferences of them staying close by, but those are my own selfish preferences, and that’s why I’m writing this article—Not only for you and those that it pertains to, but to myself as well, as a little reminder. Hey, Annie, don’t be selfish! The only way for a child to truly become streetsmart and to just “get it” in life, is by giving them a certain amount of independence, and not making them feel bad or guilty for exploring the world, traveling to a certain extent, and feeling free to make their own choices.

Children need to be taught certain things in life, but they also need to be able to grow and live on their own. They need to experience a certain amount of independence, so that they can make their own decisions. And just think, if you taught them well, then they should know right from wrong and whether they choose to do good or bad things in life, they’ll have the independence to make those decisions for themselves. Parents should never expect that their children won’t mess up at times, fall down, or even get hurt. We’ve all been hurt before, but thank God, we’re still here, we’re resilient, and we keep fighting forward. If you teach your children when they’re young what’s right from what’s wrong, to be a good person, and to be the best version of themselves, then you should be much less fearful of the choices that your children are going to make in their future.

In the same manner that your child looked up to you when they were younger, and how they knew that you’d come back home to them after work and what not, and that you’d take care of them, and always be there for them, they had faith in you. And as they grow into fine adults and beautiful, decent, righteous, and loving individuals, you need to have a little faith in them as well.

When parents don’t let go, and teach their children to stay close to their home, without giving them enough independence and freedom to make their own choices, they might think that they’re teaching them good morals and values and how important it is to be family oriented, but they’re also sending the message that if they leave home and are too independent or even choose to discover new things, experiment, explore the world, travel, or even make decisions for themselves, that they’re doing something bad and wrong. This action gives your children the feeling of guilt. And frankly, it’s not right, just, or fair to do that to your children.

You should raise your children in a healthy and loving manner. You should teach them with a healthy amount of discipline. You should teach and show them how to love and be a good person. And at that point, you should have enough faith in them, that they’ll choose to do the right things in life and make good choices. This doesn’t mean that you should stop caring, and not be there for them, or not desire to have them come to you and ask you what your opinions are. If your children are raised well, they should and they likely will ask you for your opinions, as well as for advice at times.

You should be able to listen to your children when they come to you and confide in you. And as they ask you what your opinions are, don’t make it seem as if after having heard your opinions and thoughts, that they must do exactly what you preferred. They need to feel as if they can still make their own decisions, even if they aren’t what you would’ve preferred. And they should feel comfortable in knowing that you don’t feel disrespected, or as if they’re acting bad for going against your wishes, or even as if they’re rebelling against you. They’re making their own decisions and doing so, because of the mere fact that they’re an independent thinker and an individual that feels strong and confident enough to make decisions for themselves. Which is exactly what our goal should be for our children—to grow up to be confident, intelligent, and good decision makers. Independence is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.

There are times when a young adult will prefer to stay close to the home. And despite the fact that the parents might want their child to be more independent, their child prefers to stay close to the home. Many time that child is fearful of what’s out there in the world. They might be afraid of failing or making bad choices and mistakes, and possibly not being able to succeed in life. When it comes to dating and explore relationships, many times they’ll lack the confidence of making their own decisions when it comes to the person that they’re dating. Some children (aka: young adults) never want to leave home, or at least, not until they’re much, much older. This can definitely end up becoming something that’s uncomfortable for the parents and the child.

Generally, parents want to know that they did a good job of raising their child. And when they see that their child is overly attached, lacks independence, and is fearful or unmotivated to go out and explore the world, it makes them feel that they didn’t do a very good job. As a result, many times what happens is that the tension grows in their home, and the parents become more strict, and much more authoritarian, as opposed to authoritative. As well, they might even start putting their child down and criticizing them for their lack of drive, motivation and independence, which definitely won’t uplift them, motivate them, or inspire them to do more. And if anything, when they put their child down, it will likely postpone them moving out and becoming independent even more so. It will drain any remote confident that they might’ve had, and make them feel even worse about themselves. In other words, the child will tend to point blank, feel like a loser, hopeless, and not only feel uninspired to do something important with their life, but they’ll end up feeling lazy, unmotivated, and develop an even bigger fear of moving out on their own.

This is why it’s imperative to teach our children with love and discipline, and to do so with more of an authoritative style of parenting. Children need love, discipline, and independence. They need to know that they can always come to you for help or when in doubt. But also, they must know how to make decisions for themselves in life. There comes a point though, where if you’ve messed up as a parent to a certain extent, which many, if not most of us tend to have done at times, we need to fix the problem that we might’ve caused.
We need to be honest with our children, admit our faults, and teach them why being independent is so important. I’m not saying to kick your 18 year old out of your home—not by any means. I’m saying to cut the cord when you see that it’s holding your child back in life. Rid them of any guilt, and watch your young adult, your child, and your new independent and confident thinker take control of their lives and their decisions. Lead them towards the right direction, and love them enough to have faith in them to make good choices.

Anne Cohen
Follow me

Leave a Reply

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