Are you ready for another way to make your parenting more effective right now? Get ready to relax and let go a little.
As parents, we always try to keep some kind of control over our kids’ lives. Of course, that is often a good thing. You want your kids to get to school on time, do their homework, hang out with the right friends, and so on. It can be a little tough sometimes to think about letting go.
I’m giving you permission to let go! I experienced two recent situations with my kids that showed me a lot. In both cases, I ended up finding more success letting go than tightening the control.
Take a look at how it went:
- My daughter had been working toward a specific goal.
- She had been slacking off and I gave reminders.
- She fought back against my reminders with anger, frustration, and not doing anything towards her goal.
- I decided to “unhook” myself from her goal, saying it was completely up to her to finish if this goal was really important to her. She’d have to either do it or not do it without my reminders. It didn’t bother me one way or the other because it was all hers. I walked away after saying that.
- Shortly after that, she picked up the pace on meeting her goal and had a much more positive attitude.
Here’s the “magic” within the process. When I kept pressing, it was because I was getting more frustrated because they weren’t making any progress with or without reminders. I was more frustrated than they were.
Perhaps the most important concept I learned as a counselor is that I should not be working more than my client. And when it comes to learning responsibility, I should not be working harder than my kids! I gave the frustration and inner conflict *back to them*. When I let go of it, they could really embrace it.
Make Adjustments For Each Kid’s Situation
Now certainly, a kid with a really difficult behavioral pattern may change their response in mere moments. And letting go doesn’t mean you just forget about what your kids are doing – not at all. It’s about knowing when you should refuse to own the emotional distress that should be theirs.
That’s it! When I let go of the frustration, I felt more relaxed almost immediately. I didn’t think about it or stew about it anymore. And that felt great! Nearly instant relief and a much improved result from my kids. We are all happier about both situations this week than we were a few days ago.
How about you, parents? What have you learned about letting go as a parent?