When Should Parents Let Go of Their Children and Trust God?

When should parents let go of their children? Well, as the mother of 4 children, it has been a journey learning to release my children. It has been difficult for me to know when to hold on and when to let go and has required a deep trust in God. But letting go and trusting can be done when we believe God is in control.

When Should Parents Let Go of Children?

Understanding when should parents let go was a question I was struggling with on a recent trip to an amusement park.

Standing in line for the Musical Express, I watched the rider’s faces as it spun around in endless circles with the high-pitched music blaring in the background.  

Some smiled or laughed while others looked terrified unable to fully enjoy the experience.

As we boarded, thinking we knew what to expect, I felt slightly apprehensive and vulnerable.   It’s the feeling that hits when a situation is beyond our ability to control the outcome.

We tried to emotionally prepare ourselves before the ride started, but the biggest trick was to know when and where to hold on and when it was time to let go and just enjoy the ride.

It reminded me of how I feel at times learning to let go of our children into new stages of life.

Life often seems to mimic the Musical Express ride; spinning around slightly out of our comfort zone. This sense of losing control is heightened when one of our children is attempting something new or entering into a new season.

Why is it Hard for Parents to Let Go?

Why is it hard for parents to let go of their children? Because we have done so much for them and it is hard to transition and let go of control.

When our children are young, we watch them closely and carefully guide their steps. But when we begin to understand that holding their hand and guiding them is just preparation for their eventual release into life without us, we can begin to let go.

As they grow, the outcome of their choices is out of our control.  We hope to teach and prepare them, but at some point, parents must let go of the grip our heart has on their destiny.

This is especially crucial when they leave home for the first time whether to travel, attend college, marriage or a new job.

Why is it hard for parents to let go? Because we don’t control what happens when they make their own decisions. That is when we need the most faith.

Kids-when should parents let go


When Should Parents Let Go of their Children? 7 Truths to Help

As we wonder when should parents let go, here are 7 truths that have helped me trust God with my children even when they struggle, feel afraid, or alone:

  1. Realize and believe that our children are a gift from God and He loves them infinitely more than we do.  “Children are a gift from the  Lord; they are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3 NLT
  2. Start at a young age to let go of your children to age and maturity appropriate experiences. When should parents let go looks differently for each child.
  3. Fill your life with other purposeful activities that fulfill you emotionally, practically, spiritually and physically.
  4. Communicate your feelings to others who have gone before you and those who are walking beside you and seek wise counsel. There are others who can help you know when to let go.
  5. Trust that God is always in control even when the outcome is not what you counted on or expected.
  6. Remember your own childhood and the greatest seasons of learning were not when walking beside a parent holding hands but when you stepped out and did something on your own; when your parents let go.
  7. Pray to God that as you let go of your children, they will be drawn to Him and all the goodness and grace that He offers. “…you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away–all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Acts 2:38-39 NLT

Just like a ride on the Musical Express, knowing when it is time to hold on and when parents should let go will provide everyone with a much better ride.  

There is freedom in trusting God that is only available when we put our faith in Him instead of our own strong grip.

When Parents Let Go, Children can Trust God

When parents let go children can trust God. We must each pursue our own identity in Christ. As we question when should parents let go, we sometimes get in the way of our child’s journey to find their own relationship with Jesus.

When we begin to let go of our children and trust God, we can enjoy each stage of their childhood feeling less afraid. Our children will gain self-confidence and self-assurance in stages, so they are ready to leap into opportunities.

God is able to speak to them directly and they learn to hear His voice, so they can develop a personal relationship with Him and find a sense of contentment and purpose.

When our kids develop a relationship with Christ it helps parents know when to let go. They are free to spiritually grow and mature and become people with strong character and a love for others.

For more parenting insight on how to know when to let go and how to establish healthy boundaries for your children, there are 6 Christian books that have helped me in my journey.



girls on amusement ride-when should parents let go

Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Women of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.

No Comments

  1. adgobert on January 11, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks Mary for the insight for sharing and for being an awesome leader!

    • Mary Armand on January 14, 2020 at 1:04 am

      Thank you Angie for your love and support!

  2. Heidi on January 11, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    So VERY true… all of it! I had to let go of both my sons the same summer — one (unplanned) to boarding school and the other (planned) to his first year of college. The work God has done by me letting go is better than I could have hoped for. Why would I expect any less from Him? He knit each of us together in our mother’s womb so we could become what He planned! And by letting go and pressing into Him, His plans prospered all of us and gave us a hope for the future. â¤

  3. Mary Armand on January 14, 2020 at 1:04 am

    What a great testimony Heidi! Thanks for sharing

  4. […] For further reading on parenting  Learning to release when my grip gets too tight […]

  5. Collene on May 27, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    So true! I love the way you tied the feeling of being on a roller coaster with learning to let go of our kids. It is the scariest thing we will ever do and yet they are safest in the hands that created them. Thank you for sharing ways that we can make this easier. Having a teenager I found this valuable!

  6. gilian on May 28, 2020 at 1:24 am

    I love this part : When we begin to release our children, we can enjoy each stage of their childhood feeling less afraid. Our children gain self confidence and self assurance in stages, so they are ready to leap into opportunities.
    And yes, like a moment in the park.

  7. Teresa on June 1, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    I think most people in the world think that learning to release our children happens sometime during their young adulthood. However, like you wrote, it is a process that takes place as we raise them to follow God.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 3, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      Teresa, It is such a long process and goes on way longer than I could have imagined! Thanks for reading.

  8. Michelle Ling on June 1, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    I don’t have any of my own kids as of yet! So I loved reading these insights into how. Parent feels about letting their own children go! It’s awesome! x

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 3, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      Michelle, Hopefully you will remember some insights if you have children some day! Thanks for reading.

  9. Favoureddaughters on June 2, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    I can resonate with this post 😀 (coming from a toddler’s mum) I felt very nervous to take my child to nursery when she was to start. I can imagine having to release teenagers into new life stages and trusting God to take charge of their lives…I found all the tips you shared very helpful. Great Post

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 3, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks for reading! I wish you all the best as you journey with your baby through all of the stages of life!

  10. Donna Miller on June 3, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    Oh sweet Mama! I know exactly how you feel lol. I never felt more “wide awake” than when my daughters left. The fear is intense but like you said, God loves our kids more than we do. And putting them in His hands is the best and safest place for them to be. Love this post sweet sister! â¤

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 4, 2020 at 12:56 am

      Thanks Donna…& yes, feeling wide awake is a great way to put it!

  11. Boma on June 3, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    This reminds me of the admonition to “Train up a child in the way he should go….” Thanks for sharing. Many blessings to you!

  12. Summer on June 6, 2020 at 2:16 am

    My son just turned 13 last week, so we’re entering a whole new season with him. He’s a teenager, yikes! I appreciate the practicality of your post and that you’ve offered some helpful tips to help me walk through this new phase with him.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 6, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      Summer, so glad you found it helpful & thanks for stopping by!

  13. Elizabeth Anderson on June 6, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Releasing our kids are one of the most difficult things a mother has to do. We don’t want to see them get hurt, we just want to be there all the way. But God loves them too and even more than us…can you imagine that??? We have to trust He knows what is best.

  14. Brandi Michelle on June 7, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Mary, I couldn’t agree with you more. Our children are literally our seeds. Just like planting a garden, we can’t expect to see any growth until we release the seed into the ground. Then we have to water and nurture it to aid in its growth. Once it’s planted, you don’t hover over it 24 hours. You periodically check it to make sure its on track to reach it’s highest potential. Children need the appropriate space to grow. Thank you for the reminder.

  15. Rachel Mayew on June 8, 2020 at 2:21 am

    Love the steps you provided on releasing our kids to God! Trusting God with them let’s us set healthy boundaries and prevent acting out of fear.

  16. Jessie Q. Synan on June 8, 2020 at 2:23 am

    I want to take that list of truths you have and print it and save it! I love it so much. My kids are so young, I’m so scared to learn how to release them!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 8, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      Jessie, little by little you will see opportunities to release. Enjoy those babies everyday!

  17. Kayla Clyde on June 8, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Love this! As a mom of littles it’s so good to hear this advice now and start with the small things so the big things are easier.

  18. savoringeachmoment6cd0664a71 on June 8, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    It takes so much faith to let our children “go” but at the same time, it is such a relief to know that God loves them so much more than we ever could. He wants only good for each of us and not evil.

  19. Curiosity in Kids and Why we Should Foster it on July 7, 2020 at 11:47 am

    […] But here’s what might surprise you. Common wisdom tells us that as children age they become (and should become) more independent of parents and caregivers. […]

  20. […] so difficult. Parents have to learn to transition from doing everything for our baby to eventually releasing our children to the […]

  21. […] Don’t pressure them to open up as much as you would like them to. They will struggle meeting your expectations and will shut down. This one is tough for me because I am a talker, but I have learned that too many questions and words can backfire. Teenage boys strive for autonomy. […]

  22. Carla Gasser on January 12, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    As a mom who has already launched 3 boys and is ready for her baby daughter to leave the nest, this is such wise advice to parents! Some of these lessons I am still learning, but every time I give my children to God, I find such peace!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on January 13, 2021 at 10:44 am

      I have 4 children as well! Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.

  23. […] I head to the finish line with two of our children or the stage where our kids are fully independent, I am thankful for the wisdom from these six Christian parenting […]

  24. […] when you get a system going, your children change, and in comes a new […]

  25. […] when you get a system going, your children change, and in comes a new […]

  26. […] read alone he did, and I had to accept that our reading time had one less, cute […]

  27. […] up and crying after losing GoFish or Sorry was not uncommon. And my children struggled with the same distress after losing and surrendering to a […]

Leave a Comment


Lady smiling-Mary Rooney Armand

Hello, my name is Mary and I am grateful you stopped by. If you would like to join our community, sign up below to receive the latest blog posts & encouragement!


Join us to live better altogether!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.



Recent Posts