We had a second graduation in the family this week, my son’s from high school. I’m finding the experience of launching kids to be full of mixed feelings. Still, last night at the gelato place up the street as I watched parents with tiny children, I had no regrets that those days were gone.
And it’s a great opportunity to learn about boundaries. I keep coming back to my own principles for parenting teenagers, which I posted here last fall. The one I’m thinking about most is #6, “Having goals for your own life rather than goals for their life is better for you and better for them.” I’m also working on launching my book, Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry, which is due August 1 (and will be out in early 2009). When I can think more about my writing than about my kids and their future, it’s better for me and better for them. It’s more growth-producing for me to work on my book than to worry about them (which accomplishes nothing for anyone). And it helps me move toward my goals.
2 replies on “How Long Does It Take to Let Go? Part 2“
Jason, thanks for the reminder of that terrific fable. I just re-read it. As you point out, it’s possible to overfunction even for young children. At any stage of parenting (or leading)keeping our attention focused on the bigger goal, which is maturity, can help us make some tough decisions in the present.
One of the chapters in “Friedman’s Fables” examines the relationship between a gardener and a ‘struggling’ tree. It helps me to remember that over involvement with my 6 year-olds life is of no help to her. The same would apply, I think, to virtually all relationships in which a leader has a tendency to assume responsibility for the emotional functioning of others.
I do look forward to the book.