‘Hold Your Children On the Palm of Your Hand and Let Them Spread Their Wings – They’ll Be Back’.
Having just spoken to a dear friend of mine who is really struggling to let go of her children I feel compelled to write something as this really resonated with me a few years ago.
Having been blessed with three children, two girls and a boy, I struggled with each one of them to let them go and start their own journeys. It soon appeared that I had been teaching them for many years to learn to be independent and let go of my hand, only to discover that the one who would struggle with the release would be me, not them.
I ended up having quite major issues with my eldest daughter once she left for university; I was quite controlling and thought ‘I knew what was best for her’. We ended up barely speaking for many months, which broke my heart, but I kept the door open.
Time went by and through a few upsets in Charlotte’s life she did turn to us as the door was kept open – our relationship is now going from strength to strength as I accepted her as her own person, valued her for who she was and ‘LET HER GO’. She’s made some mistakes – big and small, she’s survived, she’s learnt it’s ok to try things in life and that you do survive when they don’t work out. She has grown into a young woman that I could never have imagined a few years ago.
It really is just the way life is in that our adult children move on, they leave the nest, learn, grow, become strong people, and go on to be productive with their lives. If you become a parent that cannot ‘let go’ you will curb your children’s life’s fulfillment so it’s imperative that you do let them go.
Here are a few tips to help you if you are struggling like I once was:
- Remember you will get over it, life goes on and in some ways children leaving home has some benefits – it gives you time for self-discovery, it’s your time to put some energy and time into yourself. You will cry, your heart will ache but you won’t come to any harm and when you see your children grow and blossom into young productive adults they will amaze you.
- They are going to make mistakes and that’s fine – I desperately didn’t want my children making the mistakes I did BUT they need to make mistakes in order to learn and get the tools in life they will need for future challenges so LET them mess up – is this what you’re scared of?
- Being apart is really essential as you aren’t going to be around forever (you will eventually die so cannot promise to be there for them forever), they need to be able to make decisions, fail and make mistakes. So let them know it’s ok to be apart from you – they will be fine.
- Think about WHY you can’t let go, is it a need you are fulfilling inside you? Are you living your life through your children’s lives? Do you miss this need to be still wanted? Do you want to feel they still care? These are poignant questions to ask yourself so you understand where that ‘NEED’ is coming from. – Is this your loss of identity and purpose?
Letting go is the most generous thing you can do but it isn’t easy. You have taught them as much as you can – they still have a huge amount to learn so LET THEM GO!
If you’re struggling with this and want to develop a healthy relationship with your children let’s have a chat.