“Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” I Corinthians 10:23
“You let us figure things out on our own. You didn’t baby us” my nineteen year-old responded when I asked him what things his dad and I did “right” in parenting him and his siblings. My husband I were teaching a parenting class and I wanted input from our kids on what they thought we did, right or wrong.
I smiled when I read his response. I remember hovering over our older two who were then college-age. Apparently, from their point of view, once we told them what was expected, we let them figure it out.
Taking your hands off your children during the teen and young adult years is a leap of faith. You don’t want your kids to make bad choices. You don’t want them to embarrass us or the family name. You want them to walk in God’s ways.
Letting your kids learn on their own is risky. But God gives us choice to figure things out on our own. We need to do the same with our kids. I’m thankful God understands the pain of taking your hands off your child to let them learn about life and faith on their own. I’m thankful I can trust God when I’m not sure the path my child is taking.
Even with the uncertainties of the COVID school year, it’s important to avoid babying your kids, whether they are in high school, college, or beyond. I know it’s hard. Each of my own kids are facing new challenges, uncertainties, and disappointments affected by the cancel culture and COVID challenges. Supporting them in their disappointments and challenges is important. But babying them instead of tapping into their resilience won’t help them.
Where do you need to let your children go so they can find their way, trusting Jesus with the results? To learn more about the full process of letting your kids learn as teens and young adults, get a copy of Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind.
Father, help us to entrust our children to you in all areas. Help us not to baby them or restrict their ability to learn from their mistakes. Thank you for loving them more than we do. Amen.