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Parent letting a child go down the slideI know I’m not the first parent who has hard time letting go of their child. Still, this doesn’t make it any easier. I just didn’t realize that the whole “letting go” thing should start so early. Suddenly, I understand that for him to learn how to do things on his own, I need to learn first how to let go.

Life is sure a strange experience, isn’t it? At first I didn’t have a child and when my son was born, it took me some time to get used to the fact that this little person is going to be attached to me for quite some time now. It took me a complete change of mindset to become a Mom, a person responsible for a child every second of every minute of every day.

I am used now to being there for my son, to noticing his wants and needs, to watching him closely which enables me to understand him, never mind that he doesn’t speak yet. Childless or single friends that come to visit ask me “I don’t do baby-talk, what does he want to say?” and I always know, because I follow him in everything he does.

When he looks at something, I see what he’s focused on. When he reaches for something, I know what he’s after. I am right there all the time to help my powerless little baby do anything and everything, to save him the frustration, and suddenly, completely out of the blue, I need to let go?!

Not only do I need to learn how to do it, but also to accept it as an everyday way of life because it applies to the littlest things:

  • I am used to feeding him soup – let him try and eat on his own, he can hold a spoon just fine. But what if none of the soup will get in his mouth and he will be left hungry and frustrated?
  • I am used to help him climb the steps to the slide – let him do it alone and see how he copes when my hand isn’t there. But what if he falls and gets scared?
  • I’m used to help him get on his little ride-on car – leave him to try and find his balance. But what if the car turns over and he falls and bumps his head on the floor?
  • I’ve seen it in dozens of movies and read about it in dozens of books, but never put myself in the shoes of that other parent, who has to let go. I had no idea what it feels like and there is no way anyone can, not until it hits you. Would you like to know? Or do you know already?

    It scares me. Am I doing the right thing here, is it time yet, what if it’s too early?

    It’s difficult because I need to re-think everything I do and try to find what else I can let him do on his own.

    It makes me feel sad to see he needs me less.

    It makes me proud when I see the progress he makes, and guilty for being overprotective, which might hinder his development.

    Dear fellow parents, how are you doing at “letting go”? Does it get any easier any time soon? Did you master it or are you still learning?