There comes a time when you simply have to let go of your children.
But how? After all the years of coddling, reminding, reassuring, checking, remembering, nagging, and stress, letting go is not an easy task for a parent.
The endless supply of support is what parents usually feel they are required to provide as their child grows from infancy towards the teen years and even beyond.
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Frankly, some children are just born more independent than others and some will always seem to need several reminders to put that homework in the backpack, to get going on that project, or to clean up after themselves up until they are young adults.
Many parents understandably fear that if they let go of the reins they’ve always clutched so tightly onto and allow their children to make their own decisions in life, they will get a taste of that real world that is waiting for them — and that taste may not be pleasant at all.
But an unpleasant spoonful is just the beginning of many of the challenges our children will need to overcome in life. The truth is there is that there is no trick to letting go other than just doing it. It’s kind of like sky-diving. Terrifying and exhilarating.
Letting go is an art form. You get more creative with the different ways to express it as you go along but even if you had a certain idea about how the finished product will look in the end — it may still surprise you with how it actually comes to fruition.
Letting go in parenting is the same. Remember when we were children and we had fears about the dark, or about strange noises, but we perhaps had NO FEAR about jumping off the swings or climbing up to high places? That is a gift of nature that we parents need to remember. A good portion of us who are now parents are seasoned human beings with lots of history under our belts.
We’ve travelled, worked different types of jobs, and many of us have gone through serious life-altering experiences. Most of us have a great stash of lessons learned to teach our children the wisdom they need.
The only problem with that is that — those are not our children’s experiences, they are ours. Our children are going to have their senses filled with massive amounts of joy and enormous feelings of heartache, just as we did — but on their own terms.
That’s the beauty of life. Don’t let them miss out on that stuff because you can’t or won’t let go. Our children have experiences waiting for them that are not going to be the same for them as they were for us.
There is no way to truly teach your child how to deal with any given situation solely by handing down our lessons learned. These lessons have to be taught to our children by the world in which they go out.