Birds Gotta Fly
At what point does a parent “let go”?
- When your children learn to walk?
- When they start school?
- When they get their driver’s license?
- When they turn 18?
- When they move out of the house?
- When they turn 21?
- When they quit asking your advice?
- When they get married?
- When they have children of their own?
- When they let you?
- When they make you?
Is it possible all of these are times when we let go, a little? And yet, our children are always our children and most of us will always be ready to assist when needed. (Of course, that “as needed” must be determined by our children, not by us). Maybe it should read, as requested.
Although, I know some parents who would not assist when requested. They believe the bird has flown the coop, it’s up to them to sink or swim. (Yes, I know – mixed metaphors – teehee).
This “proper parenting” is not an easy thing. Every child is different, every parent is different, every relationship is different – YIKES! I’m pretty sure most parents don’t want a “failure to launch” experience, but we certainly hope that our children are making well thought out choices before striking out on their own.
Ah, now there’s a quandary. How do you define “well thought out choices” – by the parent’s standards or their child’s standards? I would venture that those two are sometimes not the same.
However, as our children grow up and move away from us, we must let them! Maybe what our children choose isn’t what we would have done. Does that make it incorrect? Maybe, maybe not. I think as long as it doesn’t put them in a potentially fatal situation, they must be allowed to live their own lives. (Well, even if it does put them in a possibly fatal situation (think war time here) they must be allowed to lives their own lives.)
Birds gotta fly, and the parents of those birds pray for gentle breezes to lift them up and carry them happily on their way. Grin.
*Pam Horton is a Certified Stress Management Coach in the Raleigh/Durham area.*