I am exactly her target audience for this book–with one child in college, one graduating, and one moving up to highschool. Little by little my nest is emptying and it is oh so hard! Can you relate? I’m learning so much from Fledge, and know you will, too.
Praying that you’ll be blessed by this post about giving up control, as moms! And don’t miss the giveaway at the end!
3 Truths about Giving Up Control of Your Kids
“Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” Psalm 127:1
For Jenna, our firstborn, it was an overnight birthday party with the popular girls. For Mark, our second child, it was a sleepover with his teammates. For Drew, child #3, it was church camp when his older brother wouldn’t be there. For Ethan, our youngest, it was camping with his classroom buddy.
In each of these situations, my husband and I released the reins of control at appropriate ages, saying yes to these overnights even when we didn’t feel completely comfortable. Our children were old enough we couldn’t supervise them every waking moment. Each of these events was a leap of faith for this mama. That leap of faith continues every time I say yes when I’d rather keep my kids under my wings as parent fledging kids. To fledge is to put feathers on an arrow or for a bird to develop strong wing feathers for flight. It’s not a mother’s natural instinct to let go. My security in these moments is knowing Jesus is with my children when I can’t be.
Have you had similar moments when you lie in bed wondering, What if he is exposed to something that will damage him forever? What is she is bullied or kids leave him out?
As your kids get older, the “what ifs” get louder. What if he takes drugs? What if she is assaulted? What if he gets hurt? What if they make the wrong decision or do something stupid?
What if I’m not there when they need me?
These questions linger even with adult children. They roll around in your mind, driving worry, insecurity, and the need to control.
Giving up control isn’t easy. Since the moment your baby was laid in your arms, you were in control. You decided what was best for you. You gradually let her make her own decisions. Now you have to let go of bigger things, like letting her live her own life.The struggle for control never goes away. But you’ve never really been in control; God’s been in control all along. Click To Tweet
The Command to Let Go
When Jenna was deciding which college to attend, she was choosing between one which was two hours away and one that was eleven hours away from home. I was rehearsing how to tell her that she should attend the college closer to home when the Holy Spirit convicted me. “You’re not letting her choose,” He said. “I want to work in her life but you’re standing in the way. Loosen your fingers so I can work. You have to release her to me. If I’m calling her away to the mission field, a college that’s far away is just a stepping stone. Let go.”
I stood in my living room crying. I got the message. God told me to back off and take my hands of control off my only daughter. It was a lesson in obedience I’ve had to act on again and again. My daughter is now a full time missionary and has been living in other countries since her sophomore year in college. Had I not given up control when God commanded, I could have distracted her from God’s calling in her life.
Three Lessons about Letting Go
Since fledging three of my four children, I’ve learned three lessons about giving up control.
- Giving up control is humbling. Doing so acknowledges we’re not in charge. Humility at its finest.
- Giving up control allows your kids to fly. There’s a lot more about this in The truth is that kids can’t grow when you’re holding the reigns.
- Giving up control draws you closer to God. You go to God with everything when you’re not manipulating results. It’s the best place to be as your kids become independent, autonomous adults.
Do you trust God with your child’s life? This is probably the most important question to ask yourself as a parent. Your answer will determine how you parent, how you fledge each child, and how you relate to your adult children. Will you be a “my way” or “God’s way” parent? A legalistic or relational parent? A fearful or faithful parent? Join me by letting go and letting God lead our kids.
To find out more about everything related to letting go and the fledging stage of parenting, get Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. It’s available online and at major retailers. Join me on Facebook for our upcoming Fledge Parenting Forum, on Instagram, Twitter, and at brendayoder.com.
Brenda is kindly giving away one copy of Fledge, here on my blog!
To enter the giveaway, comment (either on this post or on Facebook), sharing one thing that either is or will be different when your child leaves home. Winner announced Friday.
Brenda Yoder is a national speaker, author, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and life coach whose passion is encouraging others when life doesn’t fit the storybook image. Authentic and humorous, Brenda connects with women and moms in a way that will have you laughing and crying all at the same time.
Her new book, Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind is a personal handbook for parents in the season of raising and releasing kids. Brenda’s been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul books: Reboot Your Life and Confident and Curvy; the Washington Post, and For Every Mom. Her first book for busy moms, Balance, Busyness, and Not Doing It All released in 2015.
Brenda is also former teacher and school counselor and was twice awarded the Touchstone Award for teachers. Her ministry, Life Beyond the Picket Fence, is found at brendayoder.com where she writes about faith, life, and family beyond the storybook image. Brenda is a wife and mom of four children, ranging from teens to adults, and lives on a farm in Indiana. You can connect with Brenda on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Join her Facebook page to follow the new Fledge Parent Forum for moms releasing their kids.