My first child graduated from high school and I entered a new stage of parenting. The graduation process was a true personal growth opportunity for me and I had to learn to “let go”, just a little bit more. Watching my child navigate through the graduation journey gave me greater insight into the meaning of “training a child.”
Like many parents, my mission is to rear responsible, independent, and socially conscious children. During the months, days, and minutes leading up to graduation, I wanted to step-in and “demand” that she does things my way. It was challenging for me to watch my child do things the “hard way” when I thought I know of an easier more efficient way to get things done.
I relied on my faith, while implementing effective parenting skills. It was during this time I found myself encouraging her to build problem solving skills; while I stood on the sidelines. In the process of standing on the sidelines cheering, I found myself “listening” more and trusting her judgment. Throughout this process, I found peace by staying in the “here and now” and keeping an open heart.
Many of you may have experienced a range of emotions during graduation season, just know that this is only a moment in time. Enjoy and learn from each moment.
• Be Patient
• Don’t take the “I got it” personally
• Embrace the new relationship you are building with your child
• Just as you helped your child learn to walk, remain a steadying force in your child’s life
• Listen, Love, and Laugh
• Remember you once were your child’s age
This can be an exciting time in parenting. Similar to the birds, there comes a time to let the little birds fly. Be confident in the skills you have taught your child. Trust their ability to make good decisions. Of course, it is only natural to worry or feel anxious about your child’s well-being. It is during these times that you must remind yourself of the life lessons your child has learned. You will be surprised by what your child has learned from you. Continue to encourage their efforts has they enter into young adulthood.
Through this experience I have learned that my child needs me more, but only in a different way. Instead of “directing”, I am a “consultant” here for guidance. Embrace this new phase of parenting, and smile as your child explores new horizons.