One of the most important aspects to parenting comes in the form of letting go. While newborns require the experience of attachment, as children get older, parents must face the sometimes painful task of creating healthy separation from their children. And while newborns come into this world completely dependent upon others for their survival, as they grow up, they must learn to separate and individuate. This is the cycle of life. This is the unique quality that parent-child relationships have.
Children at different stages of development require different levels of separation and independence. Sound judgment and common sense often lead the way. Better yet, reading a great parenting book or following a great blog (no personal accolades intended :-)) can help give you the information you need to support you along the way. It doesn't matter if you stumble. What matters is that you understand the importance in preparing your children for adulthood in age appropriate ways. In other words, don't unconsciously protect your children from growing up. Don't enable them to stay dependent, insecure, and fearful. Your job is to support and make choices that lend themselves toward helping your children become independent and live a great life.
And believe it or not, this starts from the very beginning. Babies need the space to crawl and explore their environment. Toddlers need the freedom to learn that actions have consequences. School aged kids need to discover how the world works and their place within it. And adolescents need to know that they have the confidence and competence to go and make a life for themselves.
Letting go and allowing your children to make and learn from their own choices is fundamental. Encouraging your children to take risks, stretch and grow is vital. Modeling the art of separating and letting go is mandated.
So why is separating from our children so difficult for so many?
Here are just a few of the multitude of reasons why parents hang on—too long!!
If you find it difficult to separate from your children or allow your children to separate from you, you might identify with one or more of the following dynamics: (Click Read in Browser to access full article. Parents and future parents will not want to miss this one!