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Blink and You'll Miss It: The Fast Track to Children's Independence

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

The Unnoticed Transition to Independence

The subtle yet significant milestones in a child's life towards independence often go unnoticed. These milestones, although small, are vital stepping stones in their journey towards becoming fully-fledged adults.

Time, in the blink of an eye, performs a grand sleight of hand. The little ones, whose first steps we celebrated with joyous applause and whose first words we etched into memory, have matured before our very eyes. However, engrossed in the everyday drama of life, we often overlook this transition.

From their first day at school to the first tooth they lost, to the first time they tied their shoelaces, these moments of burgeoning independence come and go like whispers in the wind. They are small, almost inconspicuous, but are vital stepping stones in our children's journey towards independence.

The Turbulent Teenage Years

The turbulent teenage years then arrive, a time of discovery where children begin to forge their identities. They push boundaries, testing the waters. As parents, navigating this period is challenging. Our roles shift from supervisors to guides, and sometimes, we find ourselves as mere spectators to their lives.

Waking Up to a Profound Realisation

One morning, you awaken to a profound realisation: your babies, once utterly dependent on you, have blossomed into fully-fledged adults. They have grown into independent, capable individuals. They have gently extricated themselves from your nurturing grasp, emerging as independent entities with their own perspectives, their own lives. You may find yourself wondering: when did they grow so tall? How did these years slip through my fingers unnoticed? It might feel like a loss, the end of an era, but in truth, it is a testament to our efforts as parents. It is the moment we realise we have done our job, that we have prepared them for life's great adventure.

The Delicate Balance of Support and Space

As experiences become more complex, parents must balance offering support and giving space for their children to grow and make mistakes.

Their experiences become more complex with first heartbreaks and first jobs, their lives more layered. As parents, we must maintain a delicate balance: offering support yet giving them space to grow, to learn, to make mistakes. It is a tricky tightrope walk, but one we must master for their sake and ours.

The University Years and Beyond

A significant time of change as children leave home, embarking on a journey of intellectual growth and personal discovery. Parents hope they make good choices and navigate life's challenges with the values instilled in them.

The university years herald another significant change. Our children leave the nest, stepping out into the world armed with the values and life skills we have tried to instill. It is a proud, albeit nerve-wracking, moment. We hope they will make good choices, select the right friends, and navigate life's challenges. It can be disconcerting, even distressing, to accept that your children are now university students, embarking on a journey of intellectual growth and personal discovery. They are less reliant on you for advice, showing a newfound faith in their own judgement. They have partners, social lives, personal fashion preferences, and an autonomy that excludes you from most of their decision-making processes.

The Evolution of Home and Relationships

Parents witness the changes in their household reflecting their children's newfound independence. The challenge is how to maintain a meaningful connection without seeming overbearing or intrusive.

Your home evolves too, reflecting your children’s newfound independence. Friends of varying degrees of familiarity, even character, start showing up unannounced. Clothing choices might challenge your sensibilities; propriety may seem to take a back seat. The accustomed requests for permission and timely curfews are replaced by sudden departures and ungodly hours of return. A whiff of alcohol lingers on their breath more often than you would like, and the scent of tobacco or marijuana sometimes permeates the air. Condoms a

ppear sporadically, their presence signalling a mature aspect of life that you'd rather not contemplate.

Cherishing Fleeting Moments

A call to parents to cherish the fleeting moments of their children's growth, maintain open lines of communication, and evolve their relationship in meaningful ways.

Feelings of exclusion might creep in, the sense of your diminished role in their lives casting a shadow over your parental identity. But the question remains: how can you maintain a meaningful connection with your now-adult children without seeming overbearing or intrusive? How can you safeguard them from potential harm from negative peer pressure? And most importantly, how can you ensure they remain true to the invaluable principles of "obuntubulamu" that you painstakingly instilled during their formative years?

"Blink and You'll Miss It: Our children’s journey to independence" is a call to cherish these fleeting moments, to recognise and appreciate the subtle yet significant changes as our children grow. The day will come when we look at them and see not just our children, but adults ready to make their mark on the world. Maintaining an open line of communication is pivotal. Stand your ground, engage them in meaningful dialogue, and continue to offer your sage advice. Embrace the evolution of your relationship, and remember, the essence of parenthood never changes, regardless of the passage of time.

About the Author: Nite Tanzarn is an Independent International Consultant, with a strong commitment to advocating for women’s rights. As a devoted parent, she is well-versed in the challenges of raising children. Through personal anecdotes and reflective musings, Nite aims to share insights, tips, and strategies to aid other parents on their journey.

18 views4 comments


Nov 05, 2023

It’s true that time flies by quickly, and children seem to grow up in the blink of an eye.

Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
Dec 28, 2023
Replying to

Absolutely, it's astonishing how swiftly time passes and how rapidly children grow and gain independence. This serves as a gentle reminder to cherish every moment and embrace each stage of their development.





nsabimana canisius
nsabimana canisius
Sep 06, 2023

they grew so fast

Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
Sep 08, 2023
Replying to

Hi Canisius,

You are absolutely right; they do grow up incredibly fast. It is a bittersweet journey, watching them gain independence while also realising how quickly time is passing. Your comment serves as a poignant reminder for us all to cherish each moment. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.



#NITETANZARNIntellectNest #ChildDevelopment #TimeFlies

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