Letting Go: Meeting our kids where they are
Why is it so hard to let go sometimes as a parent of a young child? Oh yes. I remember. It’s because parenting is sometimes so hard that letting go feels like losing any semblance of the control we thought we had.
Potty training comes to mind. You can read and be told bazillions of times that potty training is not to be forced, but to act on that sage advice and just.let.go is HARD. Especially when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel within your reach. And, you’ve been rewarded once or twice or even ten times in the past. And yet, so say the experts, sometimes the fastest way to success is to just let go.
Sleep training also comes to mind. Particularly for those parents who had long, grueling slugfests with the ever elusive sleeping-through-the-night reward, it can be particularly hard to let go. Hard to let go of the rituals – even if they are for babies: bedtime nurse/bottle/sippies, cribs, pacifiers or perhaps, donning the sleep cue laden sleep sack. Thank goodness some things can be extended: the bedtime nurse is one of the last to go, and they are now making a toddler size with feet holes sleep sack (hooray!). And, some of those rituals may just hang on for a while, with both sides resisting letting go.
And yet, let go we must. Time marches on and our little ones need us to be strong and do the inevitable: to just let go. Soon, it will be on to the first sleep over, handing out the car keys, and then, ushering them off to college, unsupervised (gulp).
What has been the hardest for you to let go of as a parent? What was the reward or sacrifice?
Call now at 303-513-8975 to get the parenting support you deserve from Allison Rimland, Denver therapist for families, individuals and couples.