• Ricka Robb Kohnstamm

How do you differentiate your own expectations from those of your growing child?

As I was scanning Twitter last night, I was drawn to friend and colleague Amy Gage's tweet about a parent's essential task -

"My work is to give you what I know of my own particular path

while allowing you to walk your own."

Ta-Nehisi Coates from Between the World and Me

This caught my eye because I am the parent of increasingly independent young adult children and also because I am very aware on a personal and professional level of how tangled parent/child relationships can become, for both parents and children.

In the next few weeks, I will be presenting to a group of parents who happen to have post high-school age children with autism and other developmental differences. I am focusing on "differentiation" - how we, as parents, can and must separate our own feelings, needs and expectations from those of our children.

Differentiation is a critical element of parenting for every parent, regardless of how our children appear in the world, and is much easier said than done.

While I share a lifetime of experience with my children and I am heavily invested in them, I am not them.

And more importantly, it is not their job to be me, or to be like me, or to even enjoy or appreciate the same things I do.

It is their job to be fully THEM, to explore, to find out who that is, to relish in the richness of who that is, without fearing judgment from me.

I build a safe, loving container for them to fly from me, to leave me, to find their own destiny - and if I am fortunate, they will circle back on occasion to give me a hug before they're off again.

ABOUT 

RICKA

Hello, I'm Ricka -

I'm a Nationally Board Certified (NBC-HWC) Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coach. I specialize in working with physician leaders, corporate leaders, non-profit executives and their families to navigate complex work and personal issues so they can strengthen their relationships, heal, and feel hopeful about the future again. 

stay

Connected

Complete the form below to receive the latest blogs and updates from me. 

Subscribe to My Newsletter

Featured Posts