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Welcome back to Therapy Chat! In today’s podcast host Laura Reagan revisits one of her first episodes about the challenges of letting go.
Some points to ponder if you are struggling to let go.
What was it like for you to move out of your parents’ home and into adulthood? Did you go to college? Did you live with your parents past the age of 18? When were you ready to move out? Were your parents ready for you to go before you were ready? Or were you ready to go before your parents wanted you to leave?
Individuation is a developmental task every young adult must complete in order to become an independent and self-sufficient adult. Some families discourage individuation by refusing to allow children and adolescents to express their own individuality. Conformity is highly valued and dissent is not tolerated. These parent/child relationships can be described as enmeshed when the child and the parent are not felt to be independent people, but rather the children are seen by the parents as an extension of the parents. When you make a mistake, I feel ashamed that you have embarrassed the family. Some kids rebel and express themselves through their appearance. The parents may believe that everyone should wear khaki pants and navy blue shirts and have traditional hairstyles, but the child wants to dress in all black with long purple hair and a safety pin through his lip. Parents may see this as disrespectful and a power struggle escalates to the point where the child is kicked out of the house by the time they are 18, if not earlier. Do you know how to allow your child to leave home with grace and joy, rather than a big fight? If your parents were angry at you for wanting to be an independent adult, you might react the same way towards your kid without even realizing it.
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