Continuing to Let Go

Six years ago, Jeff shared a post about Letting Go. He shared that his professor at Calvin Seminary had 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 dependence to a place of independence. It starts when they are very young by giving them very small opportunities to be on their own.

Nanny, Grand Rapids, Caregiver, Homecare

First solo bike ride

Jeff went on to share about the first big step of letting our children bike around our cul-de-sac by themselves. Watching for cars in driveways gave them that first taste of freedom and independent decision making.

Now it is 6 years later and time to do an assessment. How have Jeff and I done in letting our children go? Are they practicing independence? Are we trusting them to make decisions both good and bad and helping them learn from it?

Running their own lemonade stand

Last weekend was our neighborhood garage sale and my children decided they wanted to host a lemonade stand. Traffic is poor on a cul-de-sac so they moved their stand to the end of the road for better business. Since that post 6 years ago, they have been given permission to bike the whole neighborhood so one child scootered around with a sign advertising the sale.  I had the chance to step back and let them interact with customers, make change, pour lemonade and develop a business plan.  We have already come so far from those first tentative laps around the cul-de-sac 6 years ago.

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 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.  Also, take a moment and look back on how far your children have come. They will continue to grow and develop and you can rejoice in their developing independence.

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