When a sweet, new baby comes into the world, she relies on her parents for all of her basic needs–food, shelter, clothing, diapering and of course, love and attention. But as that baby grows into a young child, her needs change. Soon she enters school and learn to become a bit more independent than before. And a handful of years later, she becomes a full-fledged preteen, filled with hopes, desires and ever-changing needs.
Regardless of how old our children get, they still look for the comfort of their parents. Whether it’s a reassuring hug from mom or a high-five from dad, kids and parents have a bond that age limits cannot break. But as we, as parents, raise our children, it’s important to view them as capable humans that will one day make life-changing, impactful decisions. While they are still in our nests, it’s important to be their guides. As guides, we don’t stop them from exploring and adventuring. Instead, we help light the way. We show them what it means to be responsibly independent, allowing them to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. And as scary as it may be to allow them to “figure life out”, we let go knowing that they are learning tools to help them become capable, confident adults.