I wonder if most parents start to feel anxiety when their child is about to turn 18. I’m not talking empty nest, because I still have three more daughters that will be home. She is moving out this summer after she graduates and turns 18 in just 20 days!
I certainly have been feeling the pressure and scariness. It’s not magical, my kid won’t be “grown-up” just because she turns 18 but it is a milestone. I can’t help but think of all of the things I still haven’t taught her yet and the areas that I have failed. Isn’t that always the way? You think of the failures and not of everything you might have taught your child, all the positives.
I worry that she really doesn’t know how to cook. Maybe a couple things at the most. She doesn’t know anything about finances or managing money and budgeting. I worry she will be shocked in the real world and feel lost. Or will be excited by it and get involved with bad things or people. She just learned how to do her laundry last year. I didn’t mind doing it, but then I realized I was hurting her more than helping her. She will need to know how to clean and organize a home and keep it running. Make a grocery list, make a doctor’s appointment, order prescriptions online, learn to drive a car…want to drive a car. How to read a map, how to take public transportation, how much to tip and when. Aghhh, the list is endless.
But, she does know about stranger danger, bad touches, you can always speak up – even if it is to challenge an adult in a respectful way, do the right thing, having a good work ethic, compassion and caring towards other, loving everyone and trying not to judge others, all of the sneaky things boys say to try to get in girls’ pants, she knows everything I know about sex and probably more, she knows about preventing pregnancy and guarding her heart from heartbreak and not jumping into any serious relationships. She knows what she should look for in a partner and hopefully I have been a good enough example of how to treat her significant other with love and respect.
Instead of being anxious about all of the things I need to do with her and teach her I have decided to start doing them with her and talk to her about them and take it day by day. After all she’s not falling off the face of the earth just because she turns 18 and I’m not going anywhere either.
Still so much to teach her. 18 years just truly is not enough time. Like all of us parents, I have to trust that I am continuing to do my best to teach and guide my children. It is helps to just give my self a break sometimes and take it one step at a time.