Moving on takes many forms. For Nava, my daughter with disabilities, it has meant her moving into a group home.
We as parents hopefully grow with our children. It’s good we have many years to raise our kids so we get time to adjust to them, work through issues and make our own adjustments to situations.
I’ve grown into accepting that this would be Nava’s version of moving out and on; that this would be her independent living. She feels that this is her new life and that she is on her own like her sisters and friends. And she feels great about it.
When she moved she wanted to let people know her new address; and so we made up pretty “I Moved” cards.
I purposely don’t call her every day. But when almost a week goes by and she doesn’t call and I ‘allow’ myself to call, I ask her why she hasn’t called all week and she says, “I’m independent now; we don’t have to speak all the time.” We still haven’t negotiated a balance of checking in on the phone, but that’s O.K. Her sense of pride and self-sufficiency is way more important than my need to have her call me more often. Right now it’s on her schedule; another way of letting her be in control of her life.
My goal as a parent, specifically in light of the fact that I didn’t know how far she would be able to go, was to get her to be as independent and as highly functional as possible. I must say I feel good about my efforts and the outcome of her abilities.
A key parenting value has always been- and I’m sure it’s because of having Nava- to help our children be the best they can be and reach their potential in whatever shape and form that takes. And to help them feel good about who they are. Not who we want them to be, but who they innately are.
Nava has successfully moved on in her new phase of living away from home. She has made a good adjustment to the group home, appears to be happy there and takes pride in being “on my own”.
I hope my new phase will mirror hers and that I will successfully adjust, be happy and productive and take pride in my ‘being on my own’, away from a structured job environment.
Any new upcoming transitions or phases in your life? What gives you a sense of pride lately?
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