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The muddy girl on the right is my awesome daughter Kelly. The muddy girl on the left is one of her crazy friends, Avery, who we love to pieces.
This picture was taken on the week of July 4th, 2013.
Kelly left home for college two months later.
Learn to let go of your children a little at a time. Don’t fall into the trap of believing the only time you let go of them is when they leave home. Learn to let go a little at a time.
I remember when Kelly first learned to ride her bike, she was allowed to ride three doors down and we were always outside watching her when she was on her bike.
A few years went by.
It came time for Carol and me to allow her to go around the corner down the street where we couldn’t see her on her bike. This was a letting go.
Spending the night at a friend’s house.
Going to the movies with her middle school group of friends.
Going on week-long trips with school and church.
What time should she have the car home?
“Well, Kelly, what time do your friends have to have their parent’s cars home?
Did you say 11 pm?
Okay, then we’ll make it 8 pm.”
Taking the car out.
We want to protect our children and that is a very good thing. However, even at a young age, we can’t always be with them. And even if we were always with them, we can’t always protect them.
As of the writing of this Tip, each of my kids has all been shaken to the core by pain in their lives. One of them experienced, as a child, tragedy that children should never have to live through.
At some point, we have to put them into God’s hands and say, “They belong to you, Lord.”
I believe we need to do this at the beginning of their lives with us. We need to let go and place them in God’s hands.
And every step of the way, we need to have clear guidelines, setting boundaries that are age appropriate, and as they get older, offering our advice and doing more coaching and less parenting.
Moving day. Leaving home. Letting go feels natural and a part of life. Shed some tears. Say some prayers.
See you soon.
And as you let go, every step of the way, always continue to commit them in prayer into God’s hands.
You get the idea. Learn to let go of your children a little at a time.
This is healthy parenting at it’s best. Learn to let go.
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Traditions are so important because they say, “This is who we are.”
They give us a sense of history.
Carol and I started life-long traditions from our first month of marriage.
We had many different traditions and traditions with vacations were important to us.
For as long as the kids can remember we have gone to the same place for our family vacation.
Vacation means a weekend trip to Cedar Point, the world’s greatest amusement park. Which means we spend the nights at The Breaker’s Hotel, which is on the Cedar Point peninsula and though the hotel is over a hundred years old, they have kept it gorgeous.
Some people’s important tradition may be to go to a different location every year, which honestly I think is great. But for us, the same vacation spot is still our tradition.
When we arrive at the hotel we go for a walk on the beach, looking over the fence at the amusement park rides that we will be on the next day.
That first night is always a special dinner 15 minutes from the park in Sandusky. And we would start the next day with the same ride when the kids were growing up.
We have been doing this since 1993 and our vacation a month ago found us once again at Cedar Point. The seven of us, our future daughter in law and four great friends had the time of our lives.
Threats of rain scared people away and we had the park to ourselves. Ten minute waits for the greatest collection of roller coasters on the planet!
We were celebrating 25 years of family vacations and our kids made it a point to tell Carol and me that this year was in the Top 3 of all time best vacations.
As the kids were growing up there were always reasons not to go on vacation, the biggest one being finances.
So we put it right in our budget and saved each month for our once a year vacation over a long weekend.
However, I will say there were two different years where we just couldn’t swing it financially. So we did a Staycation both times and stayed the nights at home while visiting local parks, the zoo and going to see a ballgame or movie.
Carol and I and the kids loved it all the same.
What are your next plans for vacation?