The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious of Parenting

The Next Lesson Big Lesson In My Life — Letting Go!

on February 24, 2012

This week I have been focusing on manners and ways we can successfully teach manners to our children.  I even spent a little bit of time bragging about my daughter and her wonderful display of manners that made mommy proud.  However, let’s be honest.  Our kids do not always do what we want them to do.  Why is that? As parents, we work hard every day to provide a good life for them, read them the right books, shelter them from bad media, engage them in positive activities, and a slew of other things that the experts tell us that we should do.  So, why won’t our kids simply do as we have programed them to do?

Simple – they are their own person.  This is not easy for a control freak like myself to accept.  Of course, I “have been there and done that” (we won’t go into specifics), and they just need to listen to me and avoid all of the mistakes I made and their life will be so much easier.  But NOOOOO — they have to go off and think for themselves, make their own mistakes, and become their own person.  I just keep trying to explain to them that if they just follow my agenda all of their dreams will come true.

Then I think back to some of the best times in my life, and trust me – the majority of those times probably wouldn’t be activities that my parents would have selected for me to do.  I also think back to some of the worst times in my life, and I realize now that if I had of listened to my parents I wouldn’t have experienced those hardships.  Yet, when I take the whole picture, I wouldn’t be who I am today without all of those experiences.  I do believe that ultimately I am who my parents want me to be — a happy individual that has achieved many of their goals and has options for the future.

Even with that knowledge that it takes all the experiences of life to make you a great person, I still have a hard time letting my children step out into the world to create their own experiences.  I love them so much I want to protect them from any hurt.  I want each day to be full of smiles and happiness for them.  They rail against my desire to control them — for Fa it might be a tempter tantrum.  For K, it might be testing the rules.

I have acknowledge that my 2 girls are as different as day and night.  As they grow older, I have to also accept that I can only provide them with tools that will help them along the way, love them unconditionally, and let them become their own person.  I know I am on the right track because I see them putting into use what I taught them, and they are helping me learn the next important lesson in my life — letting go!


15 responses to “The Next Lesson Big Lesson In My Life — Letting Go!

  1. Brenda Henley says:

    SO true and beautifully said!! Our hardships, mistakes and triumphs do mold us. Those hardships made us stronger people and increased our faith. You are such a wonderful Mom, as I’ve often told you, and a well-rounded person. I’m so proud you’re my niece!

  2. gdemarco89 says:

    My daughter is only 2 and I am already learning how hard it is to let go. As parents we have dreams about what our kids will do and how we want them to be, and it’s hard to realize that they have their own dreams.

  3. katejohns says:

    It’s hard to let them go. But it’s harder still to allow them to come back home, and then letting them go again!

    • I haven’t reached that point yet!! I keep telling myself that when they go I will get to do all the things that I want to do — so are you telling me that might not work out quite as I planned?

      • katejohns says:

        I’ve got to tell you, i loved when my baby started kindergarten. i enjoyed my newfound freedom. But when they are older, they leave for college, and then come home with a different attitude. They think life shoudl be a certain way, and don’t realize life is about being responsible.

  4. Hang on to this truth! It becomes vitally important as your children grow older and more of their decisions are wholly theirs. (Speaking as the mom of 19 and 21 year old daughters!) and, yes, you do get to do more of what you want to do ( must admit that the DH and I are enjoying our empty nest even more than we were hoping) but you ache and worry and want to protect them the same way you do now but with so much less control! On the upside, it’s a wonderful growth opportunity because ultimately a parent’s true responsibility is to put themselves out of a job.

  5. daddyranman says:

    I appreciate your take on letting go. However, I need a specific date and time to actually let go please, else I’ll wake up one day with my daughter locked up in the basement at the age of 29 realizing that I should have probably let go just a tad bit earlier….

  6. […] Why won’t they listen to us?  I know now that if I had listened to my mom I would not have suffered so many “lessons” in life, but I had to do it my way.  I was telling a co-worker of mine about the situation, and she said that she felt God gave us […]

  7. […] After the tooth fairy visited, I found the tooth in my little box.  I gazed lovingly at my collection and thought to myself, “Why do I keep these little buggers?”  The answer is because they are a sign that my children are growing up, and I just want to hang on to a small piece of my “little” babies.  I guess it is the same reason I kept their hat from the hospital, or their first pair of shoes, or a piece of hair from the first haircut — I am just not ready to let them grow up! […]

  8. […] I just read all of that and realized that is exactly what I want for my daughter.  Letting go is not easy no matter how good the situation is — she is still my baby but damn she is growing […]

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