Oh, how they grow. Another school year is here again, the shoes need replacing, shorts/skirts might make it for one more year and the book list is huge. Ready for a new grade at school. They have grown so much. Wow, how does it happen? Is it the holiday air, the sunshine or the family connection? It’s all of them as life refuses to stand still.
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”
– Ann Landers
Our babies are beautiful in their growth. Their experiences, words, smiles, learnings and choices make us tingly inside. Where will they go, how will the world look after them and what will their destiny be? All questions we cannot answer, its trust we need to have in our ability to parent.
Letting them grow can be a challenge because letting them grow means letting go. Letting go of our precious bundle we want to keep safe! Is it better to keep them safe and sound in cotton wool, or is it safer to let them grow. C Joybell, quotes. “I think the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves. Allow them to be strong. Allow them to experience life on their own terms. Allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.”
Cutting the cord and letting them go is different for everybody. We all have our barometer, depending on circumstances, age, environment etc. However, let them go we must, it’s when we entrust them to grow, we see the biggest growth. It’s important to create the roots for children and the wings to fly. Like the mother eagle encouraging her babies to fly from the nest, when they discover their strengths and wings they discover their purpose and direction in life. Dennis Waitley describes the roots as teaching responsibility and the wings are of independence. With this they have the ability to soar. Encourage, trust and be there when they fall. When they fall, we pick them up, encourage and continue again and again. When we observe from a distance, we see them be able, we know they will fly. The process is nurturing for children and reassuring for us.
The day will come and they will leave the nest. We want them to fly, flying is success and we want them to succeed. Their life, their destiny, their journey are all out of our control. “Children make their own paths into the unknown, paths we would never think of making for them.” – John Holt. They go with our blessing and they come back to call. Maybe this is exactly what our parents did for us, maybe it’s not. Maybe, just maybe, we can learn from our past and make things different and possibly easier for our children.
Tips for confidence and independence:
- Discuss family values and beliefs and where they will take them. Great dinner table conversation, which ones support us and which ones do not. Awareness is the key.
- Teach communication and the ability to ask (for what they want, a question, a direction or for some help).
- Give them a nudge and encourage them to give it a go, for we are here to give them the greatest gift – The Push.
- Start with small exercises, walking to the shops (with us walking behind). We need to know they are safe and capable. Increase the distance each time.
- Role-model everything, question, ask what they would do if this or that happened. Teach them what to do when we are out and about, watch them, guide them and then let them fly.
- Utilise everything in our community; nippers supports growth and team building, camps (school and specialised ones – girl – boy camps, father son/mother daughter camps, the Green Super Camp).
- Learning a musical instrument, learning another language supports different growth and development of their brains.
- Encourage finding a job when they hit 14.9 years.
- Share stories from our childhood.
- Share our love.
“I will let them be little, fill their hearts with laughter help them grow wings, nurture their sense of wonder, inspire them to believe. Love them like there is no tomorrow.”
– Julie King