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.