Parents- Knowing When to Let Go
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 decisions 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 decisions.
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 desire 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.
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, independent and great achievers and they will want to go on their own.
Let them enjoy the first chapter of their journey and learn to enjoy the next chapter of yours. It's an amazing feeling, after the crying is done and before you know it will come grandchildren and the cycle starts all over again.
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, hinted to him 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 that they never want to leave.
© 2010 Lady Liberty