When your grown child breaks your heart - a blog post by mommyshravmusings

How to handle yourself when your grown child breaks your heart

As parents, the love we invest in our children is immeasurable. We dedicate ourselves to nurturing, supporting, and guiding them throughout their lives, hoping to witness their happiness and success. But life always has unexpected twists and turns. The most dreaded and devastating feeling a parent ever dreams of is experiencing the hurt caused by the grown child. When your grown child breaks your heart, you start doubting yourself and your capabilities. The agony a parent goes through during such times is not understandable to others.

Even before the children are born, we bring them first into our hearts and then into our loving homes. We show our love and affection continuously to them and expect them to grow into caring individuals. However, when our children are still young and developing and learning emotional intelligence, they might hurt us with their words or actions. Instead of taking those incidents to heart, we teach them emotional intelligence.

It’s only as a parent that you can have your heart broken and still love the person with all those little bits.

Unknown, from Quotes Master

When the child crosses their teenage years, we start treating them as adults and feel happy that our parenting days are over. Since we raised them from infancy to adulthood, we tend to think that we know everything about our child and we can be parents to grownup children with relative ease. But people tend to forget that we must still learn how to parent a grown child.

Related Read: Mommy, I Hate You!

Parenting a grown child is one topic that’s not discussed at length. Our role in the adult child’s life is not the same as earlier, and we also have to grow up and change ourselves to suit the needs of a grown child.

Why Parenting a grown child is different?

Many parents believe that they would officially become adults only after their child crosses their teenage years, even though the law states otherwise. But what makes a child into an adult depends completely on his/her maturity level.

Children are under tremendous stress due to social media, competition, and peer pressure. They are experiencing a life that is 100% different from what we, as parents, have experienced earlier. The generation gap is becoming more profound and prominent these days.

When your grown child breaks your heart - a blog post by mommyshravmusings

Hence, as parents, we must keep updated and knowledgeable about the latest happenings and technologies. We need to try and understand the younger generation from their own plane rather than judging them from the parental angle, which is of earlier generation thinking.

We need to understand that we can’t expect our grown children to report all the problems they face to us. We should let them solve their problems independently and give advice only if requested. We also have to understand that they are not little kids anymore.

We also have to keep those communication channels open with our grown children so that they don’t hesitate to share what’s bothering them. The positive parenting methods you have practiced so far have helped establish a strong connection with your children. Hence, it is time to nurture that connection by establishing proper boundaries with your grown children and not unnecessarily interfering in their lives.

When your grown child breaks your heart?

Every family is different, and every individual in that family is also different. Hence there might be different situations or reasons for your grown child to break your heart. There might be two different stories and contradictory angles for the same incident in which you felt hurt, but your child may or may not have realized it.

Related Read: How to raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

When your grown child breaks your heart, it’s very common for you to experience a myriad of feelings like a betrayal by your child, anger in your child, frustration about you and your child’s behavior, guilt feeling about your parenting process, disappointment in yourself and your child, a sense of loss without understanding what to do next, which might lead to depression, little mistrust on your child. I am just capturing a few strong emotions that a parent experiences when their child breaks their heart.

Here are a few immediate steps that you can take as a parent whose grown child has hurt your feelings.

1. Acknowledge and process your emotions: It’s important to acknowledge and validate your own feelings of hurt, disappointment, and heartache. Allow yourself to grieve and process your emotions before addressing the situation with your child.

2. Choose the right time and place to talk: When you are ready and confident about your emotions, find an appropriate time and place to have a calm and honest conversation with your child. Ensure you both have enough time and privacy to discuss the situation without interruptions. While having this conversation:

  • Be open and honest: Communicate your feelings clearly and non-confrontational. Express how their actions have affected you emotionally.
  • Practice Active Listening: Listen actively and try to understand their point of view, even if you disagree. Having an open and candid discussion improves the foundation of any relationship.
  • Show empathy: Allow your child to express their perspective and emotions as well. Create a safe space for open communication without judgment.
  • Set boundaries if necessary: Depending on the situation, it may be necessary to establish clear boundaries to protect yourself emotionally. Set these boundaries with your child calmly and assertively, making it clear what behaviors or actions are unacceptable to you.
When your grown child breaks your heart - a blog post by mommyshravmusings

3. Have a deep and honest Reflection: If the problems could be solved after having a heartfelt conversation between both parties, then the world would be in a much better position. But that’s not the case, isn’t it? After the conversation, we need to understand the actionable steps to rebuild our relationship and take it to the next level. Hence it’s time for you to reflect on the steps you can take to correct from your side.

4. Seek Professional Help: Sometimes, our emotions won’t let us use our logical thinking, and if you cannot see both sides of the story and the situation is particularly complex or challenging, consider seeking the help of a family therapist or counselor.

5. Focus on healing and rebuilding: While expressing your pain to your child is essential, it’s also crucial to focus on healing and rebuilding the relationship with your child. Discuss with your child about the impact of their actions on you, but also be willing to find a way forward together. The following are some actionable steps for rebuilding your relationship with your child.

  1. Forgive your child: We need to remember that at the end of the day, it’s your child, the one you bought lovingly into this world.
  2. Accepting the changed relationship: Now it’s time for you to accept that your child has grown up into an adult, and you can’t parent him as though he is still little.
  3. Stop interfering in your child’s life: Accept that your child has grown up and become independent. So stop interfering in your child’s life and expect them to accept all your choices. Give them space to try to spread their wings.
  4. Mind the generation gaps: Accept that what you have seen as a young adult is totally different from what your child sees currently. So let your child take the lead and handle their life as per their choices.
  5. Agree to disagree: Disagreeing with your child’s choices or decisions is natural. But leave the final choice to them. Don’t offer them your advice unnecessarily, and don’t get offended if your child turns down your decision.

Parting Thoughts:

When your grown child breaks your heart, its very difficult to navigate the pain and heartache and is undeniably challenging too. But it’s important to remember that healing is possible. As a parent, it’s crucial to prioritize your own emotional well-being, allowing yourself to process your feelings and seek support when needed.

Related Read: Why is more focus needed on Family Emotional Health?

No matter what happens, that person is still your child and you love him/her to bits and pieces. Though it might be difficult to accept or support your child’s decisions, you need to show the patience and wait for a while, before everything pans out.

In order to heal yourself from the hurt caused by your child, you need to remember that it’s equally important to foster open communication, empathy, and understanding. And you are the first person who have to take that step to bridge the gap that has formed between you and your child. By taking slow actionable items, you can definitely rebuild that relationship.

Remember, this journey will take time and patience, and setbacks may occur along the way. However, by focusing on self-care, maintaining healthy boundaries, and approaching the situation with love and compassion, you can find strength and resilience to navigate this difficult chapter. Ultimately, by nurturing your own well-being and striving for open communication, you can create a path toward healing, understanding, and the possibility of rebuilding a stronger, more resilient relationship with your grown child.

QOTD: Discuss with your child as to what are the first steps that a person has to take when they understand that they have caused heartbreak or disappointment to some one near and dear.

Suhasini, IP, is the Author of the book “Practical Tips for Kids Mental Health.” As a certified kids and parents life coach, she helps/guides you toward a happy family life for your kids. She firmly believes that “Emotionally Happy Kids of today are the Mentally Strong and Happy Citizens of tomorrow.” Let’s make the world a happy and beautiful place for our kids to thrive.


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