Parenting Emerging Adults:  individuation and uncertainty

Surfing our own uncomfortable feelings as we accompany other adults (including our emerging adult children) with theirs

What’s on the other side of those teen years?  A new parenting challenge:  bearing witness to our emerging adult children navigate through the mists of uncertainty… as we and they learn to trust their unfolding process.

There’s no “what to expect” book for parenting emerging adults. And to make it more challenging, we may not have had healthy individuating modeled for us (ie: if you are the adult child of an emotionally immature parent).

But, there ARE tools we can lean into, so let’s take a look at how remothering moments can support us in surfing our own big feelings as we accompany our emerging adults with theirs.

Parenting Emerging Adults
Remothering Moment #303 
Surfing our own uncomfortable feelings as we accompany our emerging adult children with theirs.

from the June Center For Remothering newsletter:

The individuation process is fresh on my mind right now, having recently spent a day with my young adult daughter.  She’s at the age and stage where she’s navigating multiple transitions at once.  A journey through the mists of uncertainty. Each decision she makes involves assessing what’s important to her from the inside-out.

Traveling from what once was to what will be can be an emotional workout, and it’s such a privilege to bear witness to her journey. At the same time, I find myself on my own growth edge.


Physical Gym, Emotional Gym

If we were in a physical gym, and I was spotting her as she pressed a heavy weight, I’d expect some sweating and maybe even some winded panting. In this analogous example, most of my internal community (between my own two ears) would associate that exertion as part of the muscle-building process.

But in this “emotion gym”, I’m bumping up against my own discomfort in moments. I’m observing myself and noticing that a part of me feels the pull of my outdated, but well-honed urge to help/fix/caretake/advice-give.  Ah, hello familiar adaptation, I see you. 

The internal community members that are feeling that pull want to lift the metaphorical barbell for her.  Instead of spot her while she lifts it.


Cue the remothering moment

from me to me: “Oh sweetie.  Surfing uncomfortable feelings is a challenging aspect of the human adventure, but I’m here with you.  You’ve got this, and I’ve got you.”

When we notice that we are gravitating towards our adaptations, that can be a clue that our internal community (between our own two ears) could benefit from some compassionate attention. For those of us that lean “otherish”, we may have a reflexive pull to turn outside of ourselves when we feel uncomfortable. Which can show up in behaviors like fixing, helping, people-pleasing, emotional caretaking, or other adaptations. The remothering moments support in shifting our center of gravity from “other” to self.


Bringing It All Together

Whether its parenting emerging adults or accompanying a friend or any other adult, it’s so human of us if we get pinged as we bear witness to another’s journey through uncertainty. And yet, in most situations, the most caring thing we can do for that other adult is BE WITH them, as they are.

What the remothering moment offers us is a tool to surf our own uncomfortable feelings so that we can show up for others from a grounded and internally-aligned place.


What situations have you found remothering moments to be deeply helpful? I’d love to hear your experiences.



on the blog


Posted by Simona Vivi H

Simona Vivi H, globally recognized remothering expert and transformational life coach, guides adult daughters to healthier boundaries, self-kindness, and the transformative remothering journey. Trade the 'don’t be selfish' conditioning for ease, clarity, and self-alignment. Connect at CenterForRemothering.com, reMothering.org, and on Instagram @the.remothering.coach.

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