Letting Go

Nanny, Grand Rapids, Caregiver, HomecareMy professor at Calvin Seminary said one time, “You spend the first two years of a child’s life holding them tightly; you spend the next 16 years letting them go.” Our goal as parents is to move children from a place of complete dependance to a place of independence. It starts when they are very young by giving them very small opportunities to be on their own.

A first big step out for our children is getting permission to bike around our cul-de-sac by themselves. Two of my three children have now moved to this level of independence. They are responsible to watch for cars backing up and coming home as they cruise the sidewalks with the freedom of knowing they are hundreds of feet from the watchful eyes of an adult.

We will continue to give more freedom to each of our children as they get older. This is often difficult for parents as we fight the desires to continue to hold them tightly. But we must give keep moving them toward independence if we want them to eventually be healthy, self-sufficient adults.

Proverbs 22: 6, states, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Here the Bible is teaches that if we raise our children well, we can rest in the confidence that they will make good decisions when they are older and have the complete freedom to choose their own path.

Note that Proverbs says, “the way they should go”, which is very different than the way they naturally would go! We must be very active in helping to set the direction our children are going while they are dependent or they will likely make very bad choices when they are independent.

If you are in the long process of letting go of your children, I hope that you have the wisdom to know what freedoms to give and the will-power to let go when its best for your children. Work towards actively instilling in your children good values that will become firmly established in their core identity.

And as in most good things in life, the joy is in the journey, not just the destination!

This entry was posted in Family Life. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Recent reflections from our blog