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Parents- Knowing when to let go

Updated on June 18, 2015

The Excitement of Parenthood

As an expecting parent, we count the days and then the minutes until that bundle of joy arrives. Once, it arrives we are flooded with feelings of joy, sadness, inadequacies and fear.

We are elated a the new face and the tiny hands and long fingers, then the sadness that all they joys of pregnancy are gone, no more feeling the movement of a baby inside the body and all the irritating things like not being able to reach or see your feet are now gone and you miss them. Then comes the fear that you won't be an adequate parent; you won't do right by your child or may screw them up.

Welcome to parenthood, the easy part is now over, the hard work is just about to begin.

They Learn Really Early

As the baby leaves the womb, it knows just how to get what it wants. If it's hungry it cries, if it's wet it cries, if it wants to be held it cries. As a parent you will quickly learn to differentiate the sounds of each cry. As they get older, it becomes harder to find out what their cries mean because they are developing their own style.

Today, we have those parents that enroll their kids in all sorts of "mommy and me" group activities. While spending time with your child is great, you need to spend time with adults to keep your sanity. Put your child in a play group to let them learn to play with other children and you go play yourself. It's time to start letting go.

Growing up, we ate dirt, we played in dirt, we actually played outside until dinner time and usually came in for lunch and headed back out until dinner. We learned to be tough and make decissions early on. "Should I do that or will I get in trouble?", "If I do that will it hurt?", or even "I wonder what will happen if I do this?", etc. Skills that they will need so that they can make the right adult decissions.

Today, we worry so much about the kids going outside and getting hurt, sick or any number of other fear factors that we buy them everything made by man to keep them indoors, like Xbox, PSP's, videos, etc. Well, we are creating a generation of dependent children.

This is the time when parents need to "let go" and I don't mean pack their bags and send them on their way. Let them go and learn on their own. Don't be overbearing because you if don't allow them to grow up mentally and socially, they won't have the ability but they will have the fear of getting out and joining the world of the living. Which usually means that you'll have kids living with you until they're 50.

Are you ready to let them go?

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Short Story

Knew a couple, great parents who loved their son dearly. The son went on to college, got a degree and a great paying job, but had moved back home halfway through college. After holding this new job for about 3 years and now in his mid twenties, he wasn't moving anywhere. He had the comfort of mom and dad at home and all his money was his because mom and dad paid all the bills.

Mom and dad, not wanting to hurt his feelings, hinting about his moving on his own and still nothing. Finally, they decided how to get him to move. They gave him 30 days to move out because they put their house on the market and bought some land and had a smaller home built for their retirement.

He was devastated at having to move, but move he did and today he is doing well. He just needed a push.

Hint: Don't be the parent that makes home so enjoyable they never want to leave.

It's Time to Turn over the Keys

Before you know it the years will have gone by and you will be handing them the keys to the car and sending them off to college, trade school, or helping them out on their own. If you want them to succeed, don't fight their battles for them in school. Let them go. Don't make excuses for them either, if you do it for them, they will quickly make them for themselves. While there may be a time or two when you may have to intervene. Most of their battles, they can handle themselves. Hold them accountable for letting you know what is going on in school and keeping you involved.

Don't get me wrong, as a parent we learn as we go, just like our children. We have to be there for them when they need us, never turn them away when they ask, but always try to let them be the "decision" maker in the situation.

If you let them go when they are little, they will grow up to be strong and independent and great achievers and they will want to go on their own.

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  • gmwilliams profile image

    Grace Marguerite Williams 6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

    This is a great hub! Unfortunately, there is the helicopter parent who does not want to let go of their children even they approach adulthood. I believe that children should be raised with gradual steps of independence. I further believe that when children become 18 to 21 years of age, parenting should stop. An 18 to 21 year old person did not need a parent but a friend. Many parents do not realize this to the detriment to their relationships with their grown children.

  • MoneyCreator24 profile image

    MoneyCreator24 6 years ago

    I wonder often what we teach our children today. I myself am trying to give them what I had as a child. But it's difficult. For example, if I let my children run barefoot through the garden, scold my wife and her mother. Sometimes I wonder how I could survive. Sometimes I wonder whether my children will survive.

    We try to protect our children from everything and everyone, with the result, we do not protect them.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    Great hub! Reminded me of when I was a kid and my kids were kids. My granddaughter is 8 and has already been enrolled in soccer, t-ball, cheerleading, ballet and probably other things I don't even know about. Her favorite times are just playing with and hanging out with her friends. Kids are happiest when doing the simple things. They are so much better off when they are left to their own creativity and unscheduled play with their friends. Makes them feel independent and they become social creatures on their own, learning how to fit in and how to be a friend. Just when did it happen that kids' lives became so regimented and highly scheduled? Think it happened around the same time families decided they had to have huge houses, two or three new cars, bigger and better toys, just to exist and impress. That pressure has extended to their kids. We will see how they end up, if they are happier and more well-adjusted than we or our kids were. I doubt it! Kids don't have enough free time to even lay in the back yard and make shapes out of clouds anymore. As grandparents, think we have to step in and teach our grandkids the simple things, like how fun it is to cook, how fun it is to just sit with homemade popcorn and watch a movie together or sing songs and tell silly stories. Do some simple things like spending time together. That's where the memories come from and that is how they learn that you don't have to run, run, run all the time.

  • Abecedarian profile image

    Abecedarian 7 years ago from These United States, Texas

    Yes they are, we have a neighborhood kid who got into trouble for destroying school property, he was stripped off rank and such from another program he was involved in because of his behavior, his mother went to the school and created a war with the administration. He walked up to me with a smug look on his face and began bragging about what his mother had done. I told him he was lucky he wasn't mine because I would have made him repair the damages and then I'd of had him do "volunteer" work, picking up trash at the district every weekend for a month. He got up and walked away and hasn't spoken to me yet. Oh, and then a few weeks later, he gets caught with a stolen key stealing from the school. Getting his butt thrown in jail scared the crap out of him and his mother. He's been awfully quiet latley. Too bad they didn't learn this crap earlier.

  • Mr. Happy profile image

    Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Parents are getting ridiculous nowadays. They bring their kids by the hand to university campuses and I even heard a mother calling her daughter's boss when she got fired ... From watching my sister raise her kids I have to say that kids get no time to themselves. They have tae-kwon-do lessons, dancing lessons, piano, lessons, swimming classes ... like wow!! Can a kid get some %#&$-off time? It upsets me because I grew-up with a lot of freedom. At the age of ten or eleven I was roaming the city on my own and there are a lot of lessons life can teach you that way. Being help by the hand 24/7 is detrimental for kids in my opinion.

    Great blog! Thank you. ALl the best with the upcoming kido(s)!