In as much as we would like to keep our little ones within our sights all the time, there will come a time when we have to learn how to let them go and discover their own world. This does not happen overnight. You cannot simply say “tomorrow child, you can go and explore the world on your own.” As parents, we have the responsibility to prepare our children for this day and to recognize the signs that they are ready for their own exploration.
It is so easy to say that the best time to let go is when your children are ready. But, when are they ever ready? From a parent’s perspective, a child always needs care and guidance. We have to see past this mindset though. Many parents feel bad when their children want to spend time with their friends or when they start taking interest in thing outside the home. And many children feel the same way when their parents restrict their activities and even meddle in their friendships. Such is the beginning of the battle of wills between parents and children. When this happens, communication starts to become problematic.
While some parents take the easy way and simply yield when their children assert what they want, this does not make their children more prepared to face the world than others. The mental preparation happens gradually – and without the children even noticing it, the freedom comes gradually too. In the process, parents have to consciously steer the child towards making the right decisions. And, if they make the wrong decisions, children should also be properly equipped with the attitudinal and mental capacity for problem solving.
It is never easy for parents to let go of their children. Even parents walking their daughters down the aisle would much rather hold on to them. Our children are not ours to keep. They eventually have to live their own lives. The best thing that we can do for them is to equip them with the skills they need to face life’s challenges and to assure them that we will be around not to give them comfort and solace when things go wrong.
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