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Letting Go

Letting go was probably one of the biggest challenges for me as a parent. When my children were younger, I was a control-freak! I totally micro-managed them. When my first son became a teenager, instead of giving him the autonomy he needed, I held on even tighter. I was afraid of what would happen if I let go. What if he didn’t turn in his assignment? What if he failed a class? What if he failed high school? What if he never went to college? What if he ended up homeless, drug addicted and couldn’t take care of his family? All the what-ifs. Our thoughts have a tendency of jumping to the worst case scenarios, right?

Letting go does not mean giving up and not caring. Sometimes it can feel like a fine line between being overly controlling and just letting them do whatever they want. I’m not talking about permissive parenting here. I’m talking about allowing your child to learn responsibility and to feel capable. Children do not learn from nagging, lecturing or threatening.

Instead, take small steps in letting go. Maybe decide not to constantly monitor weather every school assignment is being turned in. I know this can be hard. I know it feels like our children’s teacher expects us to monitor their assignments. I know it feels like we’re not being good parents if we don’t. Trust me when I tell you, it’s best to teach them to be responsible for their own assignments and if they don’t turn something in and earn a poor grade, trust that they will learn from this. Remember, we will not be there to remind them to turn in assignments when they are in college.

Take time for training and then step back. Our job as parents is to teach our children the skills they need to be successful in life. For example, teach your children how to do the dishes and then step back and let them do the dishes. When my kids were younger I never let them do certain household chores because I felt they wouldn’t do it right. But, then how are they to learn? Practice makes better. Another important skill is to teach our children how to advocate for themselves and then let them do it. Don’t call their teacher or coach on their behalf, let them do it.

Have faith in your child to learn from mistakes. If we don’t step back and let them give it a go, they will never learn. Yes, they will makes mistakes, this is inevitable. Children can learn a great deal from natural and logical consequences to help them develop responsibility if you are willing to let go. It is better that we allow them to make small mistakes and learn from them while they are in our homes then to send them off to college or off on their own with no experience where they could make big mistakes with greater consequences.

I know it’s scary, but mama, papa you can do it! Just have faith and let go

Big Love!

Your Parenting Coach,

Kristina Saelee

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