YOU LET GO WHEN

 

as we parent, there are many things we want to hold tight to and not let go of when it comes to raising our kids. It’s easy to get caught up in caring for our children by always helping and holding on, but sometimes what our kids need is a chance to try and fail and feel some freedom. What are the things that are safe to let go? What are the thing you shouldn’t let go of as a parent? Here are 48 ideas for “letting go” and 12 things you should never let go. I put these together as a resource for our Heart of Mom Gathering events and want to share them with you here as well.

  1. You let go when you watch your toddlers climb up the ladder of the slide, stand at the top, sit down with a wobble, and go down “by themselves”.
  2. You let go when you ask your kids to lead the family in prayer.
  3. You let go when you give away your kids’ baby toys.
  4. You let go when you allow your 3 year old to pick out their own outfit for the day… and don’t make them change when they come out in their “choice”.
  5. You let go when your 5 year old ties his own shoes.
  6. You let go when your kid can take their own shower without your help.
  7. You let go when you don’t monitor their teeth brushing.
  8. You let go when you let them pour their own cereal milk.
  9. You let go when your child insists they know how to put away their own laundry… even though clearly it’s not where “you” have been putting it all their lives.
  10. You let go when you remove the governor on their power-wheel car.
  11. You let go with each visit to the doctor’s office.
  12. You let go when you pass on the clothes they have outgrown.
  13. You let go when you waive your hand at them, as you sleep in on a weekend day… and trust they can feed themselves breakfast, run the TV, and trust they won’t destroy the home around you while you are sleeping.
  14. You let go when you let your kids choose what they want for dinner.
  15. You let go when… wait, we can let go? Hahahaha
  16. You let go when you push them on a bicycle without training wheels for thefirst time.
  17. You let go the first day of kindergarten.
  18. You let go when you let them spend the night at a friend’s house.
  19. You let go when your kids clean their rooms without being asked.
  20. You let go when your kids understand the gospel.
  21. You let go when your child raises their hand in church to accept Christ.
  22. You let go when they order on their own at a restaurant.
  23. You let go when you let them pack their own overnight bag… and don’t check the contents.
  24. You let go when you let them “make their own lunch”.
  25. You let go when you let them shop for their first day of the new school year outfit… and don’t have an opinion about what they choose.
  26. You let go when your son mows grandma’s yard for his “first job”.
  27. You let go when your child gets in the car with someone other than a parent.
  28. You let go when your kids can wash, dry, fold, and put away their own laundry!
  29. I’m hiring an Uber driver to let go of the next 5 kids!
  30. You let go when they go to Kamp and you don’t email every day and say, “Get in front of the Kamp photographer” or “I’m coming to get you.”
  31. You let go when your kids can stay at home without a babysitter.
  32. You let go when you put them on their first gas motorized vehicle.
  33. You let go when your 6th grader doesn’t want to hold hands in public.
  34. You let go when your child is old enough to go to youth group.
  35. You let go when you give your pre-teen a $20 and tell him to keep the change.
  36. You let go when you don’t proofread your kids’ papers anymore.
  37. You let go when you let your child pick out their outfit for… family photos.
  38. You let go when your ninth grader says, “Mom, I don’t need my coat for the camping trip…” then it snows and you don’t say, “I told you so!”
  39. You let go when you sit in the passenger’s side of the car instead of the driver’s seat and don’t “backseat drive”.
  40. You let go when your child can balance a checkbook… or nowadays, understand a debit card!
  41. You let go when your child starts paying for “their own” bills. (car insurance, car payments)
  42. You let go when you let your 17 year old decide “when” it’s time to clean up their bathroom.
  43. You let go when you let your child take an art class instead of a music class because she loves art (even though you really wanted her to be in a music class because you love music).
  44. You let go when you drop both of your kids off at college and drive away.
  45. You let go when your child is too lost to say, “I’m sorry.”
  46. You let go when you go to sleep at night with your kids in college, knowing that they are under God’s protection, He is in control, (but I’m just a phone call away).
  47. You let go when your kids make wise choices.
  48. You let go when you take your daughter to college and you try to pray for her but when you pray you are sobbing so hard you can’t pray so you ask her to pray for herself!
WHAT YOU DON’T LET GO
  1. You don’t let go of your heart of love.
  2. You don’t let go of your tears that fall with each level of graduation.
  3. You don’t let go of the rich memories.
  4. You don’t let go of your rights to the iPhone you gave (loaned) your 14 year old for Christmas.
  5. You don’t let go of your desire to give hugs every time your child walks into the house…. At any age.
  6. You don’t let go of the pen and paper that write love letters to your child in college.
  7. You don’t let go of your thumb or forefinger that types an encouraging text to a child in middle school.
  8. You don’t let go of the encouraging words you give daily to your children.
  9. You don’t let go of your authority to put your foot down on issues of morality and integrity.
  10. You don’t let go of your responsibility to command respect in your home.
  11. You don’t let go of your ownership and censorship of electronics in your home.
  12. You never let go of your sadness each time you say goodbye.
Written by Joe White
Joe has been awarded two honorary Doctoral degrees and has written more than 20 books for teenagers and parents alike. Dr. James Dobson says "Joe White knows more about teenagers than anyone in North America." Joe and his wife, Debbie-Jo, reside in Branson, MO where they oversee Kanakuk Ministries.

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