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 the 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.
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:
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
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.
Fill your life with other purposeful activities that fulfill you emotionally, practically, spiritually and physically.
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.
Trust that God is always in control even when the outcome is not what you counted on or expected.
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.
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 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.
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.