Recognize and honor how roles need to change over time. Both you and your child will shift gears.  ‘Shifting Gears‘ includes video of parents sharing real life examples.

How does my role change during transition?

Moving into a new parenting mode begins with a shift in how you see yourself. Over the years, you’ve worked hard to do all that you can to ensure your child’s well-being. In the beginning you’re in charge and holding all the responsibility. As your child grows and develops you begin to see ways they can be included in their care and take a more active role. One parent describes how he sees this shift, “I’m not going away. My role is changing.”

How to shift gears:

  • Think back on the the small ways you’ve already helped your child take on responsibilities in their every day life. Let these experiences expand your view of how both of your roles can shift.
  • Notice what your child is ready to take on in managing their health care. Think about what natural consequences you’re willing to risk to gradually move the transition process forward.
  • Go for it! Shift your parent gear to one of watchful waiting, step back, take note, and step back in when needed.
  • Debrief. Talk with your child about what happened. This will help you both learn from the experience.
    • Listen first
    • Ask open-ended questions such as “How did it go for you?”,” What went well?”, or “Anything you’d do differently?”
    • Offer feedback in a supportive way. “I noticed…”, “I like how you…”, or “From what you said, next time it might make sense to try. . .”
  • Keep in mind that change doesn’t happen over night.
  • Celebrate small successes. They are the building blocks of transition.
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