8.Let Go of Control
As much as we might want to make sure our children hang out with the right friends, only listen to or view the right media, only date the right people, always make the right choices and overall not do anything that could hurt them. The truth is we can’t. We can’t control our children any more than we can control the world around them.
While helicopter parenting may sound like a good idea (after all it’s just protecting your children since we are older and therefore know better.) it isn’t healthy or realistic. Your children are going to make mistakes. They will be exposed to things that aren’t good. You can’t stop that no matter how hard you try. They best you can do is teach your children correct principles and love them. That way when they do make mistakes or are exposed to not so great things (which are going to happen no matter what you do) they can rise above it and be a better person for it. When you let go of trying to control everything you will find your life is less stressful and ironically you will also discover that in doing so you will have more (not less) influence in your children’s lives.
9.Let go of Fear
It is easy to get caught up in the “what if’s” in regards to our children. What if they get hurt doing a favorite sport or activity? What if their friends influence them to make bad choices? What if they don’t get into the right college? What if they marry the wrong person? What if they choose the wrong educational field and can’t get a good job to provide for themselves and/or their family? What if a random terrorist ends their life? No seriously as any mother (and I am sure father) can attest these are real fears.
Parent’s this is a rabbit hole that if you allow yourself to go down will never end. The “what if” game will only bring you stress, fear, and worry and can even influence you into making bad parenting choices as you act out of fear. As stated above you can’t control your children or the world around them. Life is full of uncertainty but you don’t have to make it worse by imagining up bad things that haven’t even happened yet (and might never happen). Let go of fear and stop playing the “what if” game and you will find that you will be able to make better parenting choices (because you aren’t constantly acting out of fear) and will have more happiness and peace.
10.Let go of the Wicked Chatter
I read a book once where the main characters were warned about wicked chatter. What is wicked chatter? It is the voices in your head that tear you down. They remind you of every insecurity you have about yourself (in this case as a person and a parent). They isolate you from others and chip away at your confidence. Sadly these voices aren’t always aimed at you but sometimes like poison darts are aimed at others. Giving into these voices leads to isolation and an unbalanced sense of worth. Letting go of these voices inst easy yet it frees you to better love and support yourself, and others.
11.Let Go of Being a Self Martyr
Yes being a parent requires sacrifice. Often the needs of our children come before our own. However, becoming a self-proclaimed martyr doesn’t help anyone, especially your children. If you persist in ignoring your own needs as you sacrifice and serve your children eventually you will break down, resentment will grow, and your relationship with your spouse and children will falter.
There is a reason why on Airplanes we are told in the event of an emergency to put on our own masks FIRST then help others. You can only give what you have. So take the time to take care of yourself and you will be better equipped to happily take care of your kids for years to come.
As you work on letting go of these and other things holding you back from being a happier parent just remember to never give up. It may be hard at times and take you longer than you would like. But you can do it. You can “let go” and embrace the happiness waiting for you as a parent. Just remember a happy parent equales, happy children. And isn’t their happiness our ultimate desire?
Do you agree with everything on this list? What would you change or add?
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