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Ask Amy: For worriers, it’s always time to make the donuts

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: You often mention the need to exercise "compassionate detachment," especially with adult children. I need advice on how to make that shift.

There is a saying that being a parent is like having your heart wander around the world without you, and it is so true.

As a mom who is “only as happy as my most unhappy child,” I struggle with this all the time.

I have really improved in terms of not offering unsolicited advice and comments, but I constantly worry about choices they make and feel their pain possibly even more acutely than they do (and often long after).

This is made worse by the fact that one of my adult children has significant mental health issues.

It is to the point where I often wake up in the middle of the night worrying.

 

Do you have any techniques or books you would recommend that would help me to develop greater compassionate detachment?

– Worried Mom

Dear Worried: Surely you remember the old Dunkin’ Donuts ad: “It’s time to make the donuts!”

Your adult children have a negative experience, and your mom-brain goes: Ding! It’s time to make the donuts!” And you either fly into action or fall into worry-mode (or both).

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