Parenting little ones is a fun, challenging, and sometimes thankless job. It requires endurance, patience, and a frequent sense of adventure. One of the most challenging aspects that is often found among parents of preschool and elementary age children comes with letting go. It can be hard to find peace and comfort within new situations that require your child to venture along without you. Instances of this type of situation can include your child attending school, playdates or sleep overs with friends, and fieldtrips. Let’s face it, sometimes even a trip to the grandparents house can send shivers down a parent’s spine.
When parents feel stressed and worried about letting their child go (i.e. – giving someone else the authority to care for and supervise your most beloved treasure) it is often because their head fills up with all of the ‘what-if’s’ that could happen. When your child is young, concerns over their lack of ability to clearly communicate their thoughts, feelings, and experiences often creep over the mind of parents. As they start to develop into more independent little beings who may carry their own concerns or insecurities, a need to buffer and protect them from the sometimes harsh experiences of the world take root.
As a Certified Life Coach, I see a good deal of parents struggling with these very feelings. As a mother myself, I can definitely relate. The good news is there are life skills and life perspectives that can help us parents navigate through these challenging waters. The first is to take a very real and honest look at the insecurities and possible past hurts or traumas that you hold within yourself. Often times, we parent from our life experience and the interpretations we made about those various experiences. If we suffer trauma, especially during our childhood, we often carry over reactionary behaviors and/or develop less than ideal coping strategies. So, when we feel a high sense of fear or apprehension about letting our child go, it is important to review the possible reasons why.
Now, it is possible to struggle with feelings of fear or insecurities when letting our child go without having a major trauma or negative past experiences within our life. Unfortunately, a common reality is that there are varied and scary dangers within our world. The very sad fact is that now-a-days sending your child to school or going to a movie theater can turn to tragedy. Although this is a very unfortunate state of our current society, it is NOT a reflection of the bulk of it. The truer reality is that our world is full of kind, giving, and loving people. As parents, our job is to recognize the real and likely factors within the situations our children are in. If the risk to their overall well-being is high, then that person or situation is not a good place to let them go within. If the risk is low, and most of our ‘what-ifs’ are rooted in a whirlwind of fear, we may need to strongly consider allowing the event or situation to happen.
As much of a life-long commitment as parenting is, the foundation of what we do as parents needs to be rooted in one thing. Raising these independent little human beings to become confident, secure, kind, and loving productive adults within our society. The big picture perspective of this means our entire job is moving through the stages of teaching and support in a constant effort to let them go…even though it happens just a little at a time.
If you are struggling with the aspect of letting your child go, and would like to learn the necessary tools to make this happen in a healthy and positive way, contact me at (386)507-9300. You can also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am currently offering a FREE 15 minute phone or in-office consultation.
I also offer two Parent Support Groups. The parent group for parents of preschool and elementary age children is held on the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 9-10am at my Downtown Deland office location. The parent group for parents of teenagers is held on the 2nd Sat. of every month from 9-10am, with the exception of February. That group meeting will be on Feb. 16th from 9-10am. It is only $10 to participate. Call to reserve your spot, as space is limited.
As parents, we are the most influential influence upon our child. Make sure the skills and lessons you are teaching your children are ones you truly want them to learn, and ones that will make them the best version of themselves that they can be.