Letting Go of Control

by Heligirl on January 16, 2012

in Daily Ramblings,Mom Tip Monday,Parenting Articles,Positive Discipline

Chances are you’ve heard all about helicopter parenting. I come across that and cringe just because I’m a mom and a helicopter pilot and sometimes people wonder if my blog is about helicopter parenting. Ugh, quite the contrary.

Helicopter parenting is in essence parents who hover over their children at all times, rarely giving the child the opportunity to learn from mistakes and figure their own way out of problems.

It’s hard to watch our children fail, but when we give them the knowledge and teach them the skills, we have to step back and let them try, and sometimes fail, if they’re going to appreciate their own ability to succeed. Failure is only a step to success. If we never failed, how could be so confident from our successes?

When babies are born, they need us to manage every aspect of their lives. We need to begin to let go as soon as they start doing things on their own. Continuing to do things for them, or control how they’re done, only stunts a child’s sense of independence and belief that they can do things themselves.

As we begin to let go, take baby steps. Just like when helping a toddler take his first steps we let go of their hands for a few precious steps to show them they can do it, we must also do the very same in all aspects of their lives in time.

Make time to teach your child what she needs to know before letting go. When we give them the knowledge and skill they need, they’re much more likely to manage doing something on their own sooner and with more confidence.

Remember to have and show your faith in your child. I tell the kids “That was a very good try. It takes practice. I have faith you’ll get the hang of this really soon. Just keep practicing.”

My mom tip for today: let go of your kids in little steps as soon as you can and you’ll give them the gift of learning through their own successes and failures, which will build strong self-belief.


SharleneT January 16, 2012 at 7:50 am

This is so true! I have a friend who couldn’t do this and the children (in their 40’s) are still living at home, with her, incapable of holding a job or running their own lives. Of course, what is never said is that she has built-in maid service and help. She pays them nothing (they get to live with me!) and I’m constantly wondering what’s going to happen when she becomes disabled or passes… To me, this is the ultimate child abuse, and so difficult to attack because of the social face they’ve learned to show.
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January 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

Wow, Sharlene. Unbelievable. I feel so bad for those “children.” This is definitely the extreme example of how far this can go. Thank you so much for sharing this story. So very sad.

Susan January 18, 2012 at 9:02 am

Excellent!!! I love this. It is so key to raising a capable and confident young person. I took a class a few years back, called Developing Capable Young People (Jane Nelsen and H. Stephen Glenn authored it). If you get an opportunity to take it, I highly recommend it. It takes you a step further in parenting. (Our school district put on the class and provided child care!)
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