Monday, November 5, 2012

At what point do you let go?

Parenthood is a never-ending cycle of not knowing what the absolute right choice is. Ever. Or maybe that's just me. But I struggle almost daily with what the right choices are. Some are easier than others, but some decisions are really hard. And at what point do you have to just step back and let them make their own decisions?

I feel I was very fortunate as a kid. My parents trusted me and trusted I was making the right choices. And I think it was pretty early my senior year of high school when I was only 17. I had goals, I went after them, and they never told me I was doing something stupid. I graduated, went to college, got engaged, graduated, got a job in my field, got married, bought a house. Never once did they say "that's a stupid decision." Even now, as a 35 year-old adult with my own children, they never tell me what to do or that my decisions are wrong. Never once when my kids were babies did they try to tell me how I should take care of them, or how I should parent them.

I hope they know just how thankful I am for the way they've trusted me.

'Cause I see other parents who are parenting their 19-year old child like they are 5 years old. And me and my husband are the bad guys because we believe a 19-year-old "man" should be able to make his own decisions in regards to his education and career.

Doesn't there come a time when you really need to step back and hope the child you raised is smart enough to make the right decisions? And if they do make a mistake, as adults, they need to learn how to be responsible for that mistake and learn and grow and understand what it means to be a mature responsible adult.

I try real hard not to judge other parents....everyone has their own ways. But to me, this just seems like a way to hinder a child/adult's way of learning how to be an adult. And hindering a child's growth and development just seems wrong.


  1. My parents (Mom) was overwhelmingly dominant during my childhood (up to age 11ish) then totally hands off, besides rules about boys. She was just lucky I was well behaved.
    I ended up parenting my siblings.
    It's bizarre that now, when I'm 37 with kids and my own home, she thinks it's appropriate to wheedle and meddle and snoop. Very weird. I just consider it proof of her going nuts. :)
    Not looking forward to the time my kids realize I'm nuts.
    As a teacher, I see a lot of kids (Middle and high school age) entirely dependent on their parents for simple things they should take responsibility for at this point (packing their backpack).
    I'm having a tough time choosing what issues are important and what's not when it comes to letting my children grow into themselves.

    1. It is hard sometimes, but I know I am not doing them any favors by doing everything for them. I want them to be independent kids, but I'm also supportive and I am here for help for things that really need it.

  2. My almost-15 daughter has a friend whose mom packs her lunch for her every day. LOL. My daughter thinks it's ridiculous. Everyday jobs like that, you can suddenly choose to let go and quit being so hands-on. Not much harm would come to the inexperienced girl, other than maybe forgetting her juice box. :)

    On the other hand, if it pertains to decision-making and responsibility, those are skills best learned gradually. So if the parents have been very in-charge with this boy his whole life, cutting him loose now just because he's reached a certain age might be catastrophic.

    It's kind of like those parents who choose to homeschool their kids to "protect them from the world" and don't socialize them, then one day the kids are finished with the high school curriculum and expected to either go to college or get a job in the real world, dealing with, if they didn't get a chance to deal with children and develop those social skills, how the heck can they cope with the pressures of adult interaction?