Independence: Good for Parent & Child

It’s hard for this mom to let them go, but teaching my kids how to do things feels good. Explaining to them why they should do things is very fulfilling. It makes me feel like a good parent.


We were in our 8-foot blow up pool (I know: fancy) the other day in the low nineties, high humidity weather, and I got to tell the kids about boundaries. I actually got to teach my not-quite-seven year old about why it’s loving to listen when her brothers says not to shoot him with cold water out of her foam gun. Then, I got to seal the lesson – when he shot her in the face with the same instrument.

“Does that feel loving when he shoots you in the face? Would you like him not to do that anymore?” As she shook her head “No” and then “Yes,” I got to see comprehension of my previously dry attempts to teach her this lesson coming to life – in the frigid pool water of a sunny day.

Then…we got the kids to clean…their own bathrooms: sinks, showers, and toilets! I’ve talked before about how the passage of time and growing up in general is bittersweet; we get old, and our kids first crawl…then walk away from the ways we’ve known them, into independence and God’s plan for them.

I read something recently that captured the heart duality of what I and so many mommas experience:

[] watching your child approaching full bloom is so beautiful it takes your breath away.

Annie Reneau (“Kids Growing Up Is The Best And Worst Thing.”)¬†That’s so true! But there is something I’ve been missing – in babying them so much. It’s not the lifting of the burden of doing it for them.

When you teach your kids and see them learn… See them doing it for themselves… Then, and only then, does the burden of fear lift – the doubt that you can…parent them. The worry that you may be failing as a mom, dad, or leader… There’s a breath of relief that comes from seeing that they’ll be okay.

Your children get married, and something ends. But you can see it as a beginning (as I’ve said before). You can see it as gaining family, right? Well, you don’t have to see yourself losing your children. If you’re like me, you love them more every day. You can see your kids growing and skipping across milestones as winning the prize in the race God signed you up for when He rewarded you with children. You can see yourself as having been faithful with your Littles…having fostered them from child to amazing people in full.