5 Keys On Learning How To Let Go For Growing Parents
I was raised without a father – he died when I was four years old. So I hung around my grandpa and a couple of uncles who were my “father figure” sort-to-speak.
My grandpa was kind of a distant man. The grandparent warm-fuzzies were never there. My uncles loved to drink and work on cars.
In short, I had no way to learn what a true father was, much less how to be one.
It was more than 25 years ago when my wife told me that I was going to become a father. Whoa! What?!!
I was so scared. Better yet, I was terrified.
Why? Because I knew parenting was serious business and I felt short. But I knew I would become a father some day and knew I would do all I could to accomplish my mission as a dad.
“I don’t know how to do this” “I’m going to need some serious help because I want to be a godly father to my children.” “I wanna die.” These were my prayers – or something along those lines.
Prayer and trust in God helped me be a father to my four children. Yep and each time it was a new prayer, new challenges, and new fears to face – a new adventure.
But in the process of time I think we learned the secret to let go and watch our kids grow.
By letting go and watch I simply refer to a few things in life that we parents need to grow into in order to achieve our responsibility as parents.
Coach Tony Dungy, shares a great lesson he learned from his father regarding his impression of Coach Greene’s success at River Rouge and how he coached during a game.
He said: “After the game, my dad asked me what I thought. The River Rouge team was truly a marvel to watch. “I wasn’t very impressed with Coach Greene, though” I confessed. “He didn’t do anything. He just sat there calmly with his arms folded. No expression. I didn’t really see him do any coaching.”
To this he added: “My dad replied, “When you’re a teacher, you talk when you teach. You don’t talk during the test.” If you teach well enough,” he continued, “you really don’t have to worry when the students are taking the test-they are prepared and can take care of themselves.””
During my last 25 years of fathering, alongside my wife, I have noticed that my goal in life was the same – to teach my kids, letting them go and watch them take the initiative by implementing the lessons we taught them.
As parents we’re constantly teaching our kids. At least we should. That’s our job!
But if you’re anything like us, you’d want to be aware of your kid’s whereabouts 100% of the time; You want to know how they behave 100% of the time and you want to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do 100% of the time – especially in your absence.
This takes a tremendous amount of teaching or coaching, or maybe even both. It’s called: Trusting them to do what you’ve entrusted them with.
I’m not an expert on parenting, by any means, but along with my wife, I’ve learned a thing or two about Learning How To Let Go And Watch my kids do their best in different situations.
5 Keys to learning and letting go in your kids - the secret of what we’ve done to see this unfold.
1. Teach them
Parenting is all about teaching. You teach your child everything the need to know about life and godliness.
They will eventually become a magnification of who we are, so we might as well teach them the values and skills we want them to know. Or they might just learn it the wrong way.
2. Correct them
When they do something wrong, or try something the wrong way – correct them. Parents must correct their children – this is part of teaching.
Right correction produces right results. You can choose how to best correct your children. Some people think we were a little tough on our little ones.
But you see, one think we didn’t tolerate was for our toddler to roll their eyes at me when they didn’t jive with our requests.
We didn’t let them throw tantrums or scream when they wanted something-right now – they’re way!
No. We corrected them and they learned quickly.
It’s amazing how much easier it is to deal with your teenagers when they’ve learned valuable lessons (in love, of course) early in life. You don’t have to re-teach or re-correct them. They know. But, yes – it takes hard work.
3. Let Go
After correcting our children, whether a simple correction or when upset at them, we worked at forgiving them and letting it go. Just drop it.
In other words, don’t keep thinking about the problem and don’t stay angry at them for what they did or didn’t do.
Be sure to fix the problem, and be sure to let them know you didn’t like their behavior – but once done – let it go!
4. Lead them in the right direction
Parenting is leadership – all the way. Not only do you teach them but you also lead them in every area. This is part of the reason why we go through our family vision every year.
We want to make sure we’re heading in the right direction, leading our family in the path they need to go, so when they grow up they won’t depart from it.
You not only lead by teaching, but you also lead by example – this one is probably greater. Often times our greatest lessons are caught – not taught.
5. Watch them
Coach Dungy’s father explained even further: “when the time comes for them to make the decisions based on your teaching, either in life or in a game, step back and watch it unfold. This is one of the greatest trust exercises of all. Trust your teaching, and trust your student’s ability.”
Part of watching your kids grow constitutes trusting them.
We recently had two out of four of our kids leave home. One left after a job offer she could not refuse, and the other went off to college.
One thing we are now experiencing is this idea of folding our hands and watch their training unfold. This requires trust in our part to let them fly on their own.
My wife, a teacher, often does the entire explanation of whatever we want to teach our kids, so she speaks in "their language." Me, I drill them. lol.
As a coach, you teach and drill during those practice nights. When it's game time you go out in the field, and watch what you taught them and trained them for unfold.
It's amazing how our kids have been able to apply most of our lessons to the "T" when in public.
Even during church functions (as PKs they're on the spotlight constantly) and others often make comments because we remain with hands folded watching them execute their training.
People think we just have great kids, but what they don't realize is that they got drilled in the field of life, and with much prayer, we see the fruit of prayer unfold in due season.
Learning and letting go is not easy, but definitely something we must apply on a daily basis. We have founded to be very rewarding.
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About the Author
Alex Colón, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Teacher, Pastor, Blogger and best of all, Husband and Father of 4. Living the re-Branded life