Slowly Releasing the Grip

in steemitmamas •  11 months ago  (edited)

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Do you remember the age you were allowed to leave from in front of your house and play at the corner? Or how about around the block? I remember being pretty young and able to hangout around the block with my friends. I remember some nights camping outside in my friends yard on the corner, laying on the hill looking at the stars. We played in the woods, crawled through the sewers and even walked to the nearest store when we were a little older. Our parents kept a close watch on us and there were rules to follow but we had freedom to explore the world.

Sometimes I think about how many things could have happened but they didn’t. There were some close calls but I made it to parenthood. Now, as a parent I am finding it hard to let go of the grip. As a stay at home mom my kids are always with me spending tons of time together and I am aware of what they are doing. They seldom go anywhere without their father and I unless it’s a date night and they stay with family. It’s really hard for me to let them out of my sight because I began to think of all the bad things that could happen.

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They are ready to leave the nest, flap their wings and take off into the world of adventure. I’m sure you have gathered from my posts that I am all for adventure and learning. I just struggle when those things take place without me there. Just the other day they were playing in the front yard and I hear a car zooming down the street. The same car circles around again and I yell to the kids to come inside. This car almost hit a stop sign from going so fast. It’s ridiculous and foolish things like this that give me anxiety when I think about my kids playing outside. It irks me that people can be so careless and inconsiderate to speed down a street when they see children outside playing. 😠 🛑

Another time while I was looking out the window checking on them, I see a bull dog come from the middle of nowhere. He just shoots out from around the corner and gets close to all the kids that were playing outside. I didn’t realize I could still move so fast. I ran out that door so quick, barefoot with pajamas and all and immediately grab up my three year old as I block the dog from the others. If he was going to bite anyone it was going to be me and not the kids. I told my kids to stay on our neighbor’s porch. Thankfully one of our other neighbors runs out with a metal pole and scares the dog far away from us. He said he’s seen that dog before and didn’t want to take any chances. His son was out playing too so he was also keeping an eye out. At least we still have neighbors that care and look out for each other’s children :)

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Sometimes I see my little pack as a group of ducklings staying close by my side. I know it can’t always be like this because they are supposed to grow up and become independent. I learned a lot of lessons and how to be brave when I was away from my parents. I want the same for my children, to learn life lessons through different experiences.

It’s easier for me to allow my nine year old daughter, seven and six year old son to go outside because they know and understand the signs of danger more. They also mind the rules most of the time. It’s my three year old son that I am mostly struggling to release the grip on. He absolutely loves being outside. My older children do a really good job watching over him and making sure he’s taken care of out there. The farthest they can go is next door to our neighbor’s house to play with their friends. We know that family and they do a good job watching over the kids. Sometimes I panic if they are out of view or I can’t hear their voices. I am constantly opening up the door to peek out at them. I love it when they come in for a glass of water then I can check up on them and ask what they are up to. 😁

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Our little babies are blooming. They are starting to find their likes and interests and make decisions for themselves. I am slowly releasing the grip to let them experience life. I didn’t realize it would be so hard doing this. I know I shouldn’t worry or think the worst, I just need to breathe and continuing praying for protection over my little ones. If I can’t handle them going next door out of my sight I will never be okay with them playing around the block. I know that day will come. One day they will ask me to walk over to a friend’s house that is way out of my sight. 😬😥

Do any of you parents struggle with this? Those of you that have grownup kids, how did you handle letting them fly?

Thanks for Reading!

All photos are my own and were taken with our Cannon EOS Rebel T6.

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I remember going through the same dilemma when my girls were growing up releasing the gripis so easy to say but so hard to do
and uytes seeing any of your children in rouble whether from a bull dog coming close or any other reason gives us energy and speed we never knew we could do

Yes it really is hard to do. Our adrenaline kicks in when our kids are in trouble. I’m so glad it does because all I wanted was to protect them.

Its a good thing that it does we need it at times :)

For sure!

I'm glad that you have a neighbor who is also reliable on the block. I think that was part of why it was different when I was a kid - where/when I grew up (New Jersey in the 80s), all the kids played on the block from a very young age, and all the parents knew all the kids. We could roam as far as the park when we were little (about a half a mile away - I just googled it because I wasn't sure, lol), but also one of my friend's backyard faced the park, so legitimately if something happened we could have run there.
We walked to school (also a half mile! It's funny googling the distances because my little kid concept of how far away things were can be weird), but when I was very young I walked with my older sister, and when she moved on to junior high (which was just next door to the elementary but I think it started at a different time) and high school, I walked with my neighbor friends.
It was DRILLED into me about safety and not talking to strangers (I even owned a board game called Don't Talk To Strangers) by my New Yorker parents. Ergo we also had some free reign when I would stay at my cousin's house in the Bronx - I remember distinctly walking to the shop with her by ourselves to buy candy and those little firecracker poppers, and in that case I was the older one. Her mom was utterly shocked that I used the stove by myself when I was nine, but didn't think twice about us walking to the shop, lol.
But then I moved here, and it was a whole different world. Kids did not play together on the block, neighbors did not know neighbors, and kids had no sense of safety. MORE THAN ONCE my bestie in high school would have accepted a ride from a group of strange men in a car except I grabbed her by the collar, told them no on our behalf, and then lectured her for the rest of the day about how that was super dangerous - and we were teenagers by then. She was from rural Oklahoma, where nobody locked doors and she thought I was super paranoid for doing so.
So, yeah - it's super circumstantial!

Wow!! It’s so crazy how different times and different places effect how you were brought up. We had the same experience growing up, it was a free range thing and as you stated parents knew the kids as well as parents knew each other. It’s sad how neighbors really don’t look out for each other as they used to. Maybe in some place it’s still like that.

Lol that was funny about the stove and walking to the store. That was one of our favorite things to do, stock up on gum and candy back then. 😄 I totally agree with it being circumstantial. Thank you so much for such a nice response ;)

Whenever I hear those mad stories about parents getting in trouble for letting their kids walk to school, or another parent calls CPS because their kids were playing ON THE BLOCK, I'm like ...where did those paranoid people calling CPS grow up?? Surely their parents weren't THAT helicopter, were they? O.o So that's another weird thing to factor in nowadays - how off the charts are the neighbors, instead of being able to depend on each other for help! I don't understand that mentality at all.

I sooo agree! It’s just the opposite now . Instead of relying on neighbors it’s almost like you have to keep your business to yourself. I don’t understand it either. It’s so sad when you can’t depend on your neighbors.

Yep. I hate that mentality. Like sometimes I like the site NextDoor, because you see people helping each other, but then you also see petty judgemental nonsense, and I lose all hope for humanity. LOL

It is so, so, so difficult to let go! Between fostering their independence and making sure they're well protected... it is hard.

With my oldest, the biggest thing I've struggled with is letting him try things on his own without my direct intervention or input— and being okay with him figuring out the outcomes and the solutions on his own.

I don't think these concerns ever go away, it's just that we as parents find new and better ways of coping!

Yes, very hard. 😩

Wow holding back input is definitely going to be hard for me. I can just imagine.

That’s such a good point. As long as we are here and as long as we are parents we will always have concerns. Finding ways to cope is definitely key. Thank you for your feedback :)

I find the best way to prevent your children from becoming "out of hand" is to not let go of them until they are truly ready. It's not an oppressive grip that a parent has over their children, but an aid to help the child mature into what God desires him to be.

A parent is like a stake for a tomato plant. If the plant is allowed or encouraged to explore away from the stake it'll grow onto the ground. Appearing healthy, when it bears beautiful red ripe tomatoes it'll sit on the ground and have no protection from groundrot. The parent offers the child stability to grow upwards instead of outwards to bear good fruit. While growing, the tomato tendrils will have their GRIP on the tomato stake and the tomato plant will love the tomato stake, even after it's not needed anymore.

Trust your instincts if you are having trouble releasing the grip.

What a beautiful and encouraging analogy! Wow I really loved this. Thank you so much for sharing and providing sound feedback.

I will trust my instincts and continue letting go slowly only when necessary. A lot of times I say no to my kids, not allowing them to do something when the Holy Spirit urges me not to. There are just those times when you know it needs to be a no.

Many blessings to you and your lovely family ~

Yeah it's hard ... as moms we want to prepare them for life, for whenever we won't be there for them... but we want to protect them all the time. Last year my kid's school was next door. Then we changed schools and the new one was 3 blocks away. I wanted to let my 9 year old boy walk home alone... but he felt he wasn't ready. So I didn't push him. Now we moved to a new town. He is in 4th grade now...and his school is 2 blocks from my work place. He has walked it twice now... the first time I told him to try it and I couldn't stop thinking about the traffic and so I met him half way. After that I tried to relax and he made it a couple of times. I'm not super comfortable about it, but we have to let go, little by little. When I was a kid my dad would drive me everywhere. So by the time I was in high school I had to start learning how to take the bus... and that kinda things. I don't want the same for my son. But the world is more dangerous now, so we should never let the guard down.

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Yes yes yes! This right here...

as moms we want to prepare them for life, for whenever we won't be there for them... but we want to protect them all the time.

That’s exactly it! I would have done the same thing, meet him half way. As moms we can’t ignore our concerns, instead we act on them as loving moms should.

It is such a different world now. So many more things and dangers going on which makes it harder to let go. But slowly, step by step we can when we feel it’s time. Thank you for responding, I enjoyed reading ~ 😊

When we still lived in England (my daughters were 7 and 5 when we left), my girls would play out with our neighbour's daughter, same age as my youngest, and we parents would be out with them. It was a quiet, dead end street, so no fast cars. Had we stayed, I'm sure it would have reached a point where they'd have played out alone, just with us keeping an eye out.

Here in Australia, there were no other children for them to play out with, although as they got older they did occasionally play out with me supervising and as they got older, them keeping an eye out for each other. At 15 my eldest was determined to be more independent and started traveling on her push bike to see friends miles away. She'd check in with her iPod every time she picked up the free Wi-Fi of McDonald's. It was a slow weaning process and I still worry. They are 18 and 16 now.

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This sounds a lot like how we are. They play freely now but in close view with us keeping an eye on them. I don’t think I will ever be comfortable not being able to look out the window or door and see them.

To hear you still worry and they are 16 and 18 confirms my thoughts. We as parents will always have concerns for our kids. That’s really great that she checked in with you. I’m not looking forward for that day when they are going to want to “really” leave from home and travel to friends houses that are out of my peek zone. 😣

Thank you so much for commenting ~

i can so relate to this, .. as a kid i was out on the street corner till late and begrudgingly came home at curfew time. now my goblin daughters are way older then i was at the time, ... and we all have mobile phones. but if they are late home or dont pick up the phone i begin to fret and they cant understand it when they turn up.... one day they will have their own kids and they will know what its like for mommy/daddys i tell them.

Oh my I can imagine the fret when they don’t pick up their phones! 😦

Yes one day they will definitely understand why you feel the way you do. Just as we do now.

Thank you for your feedback ~

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  ·  11 months ago (edited)

Yes I am totally like this cos my mother was with me, however I regret not being able to do more risky things because of how cautious she was. I wanted to do karate and later wanted to work in a Japanese fast food place but she thought both of those things were not suitable and risky. There was a time when I was in primary school where I could play outside my home and ride the bike because it was a quiet street but I did get injured badly and that adds to the anxiety.
I want my child to be able to go out by himself and be safe and know the rules but at this stage I often have to protect him from others! He’s very careless with his arms and legs! And when he was younger I had to protect him from older kids! Haha it’s never ending. He’s 3 too.

I bet that was hard wanting to do all of those things but your mom wanted to make sure you were safe. We want to protect our kids but as you said we want them to be able to go out by themselves too. It’s so hard because we’re going to want to always protect them. It truly is never ending. When they get hurt it does increase the anxiety. 😟

Yes so true! I guess as our kids grow up we understand more of what our parents felt

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I can totally relate on this... I feel each and every words you wrote. Frankly speaking, I dunno. My eldest girl is the blue type but I know she can do a lot of things on her own. Just that I think I am overthinking it too much, worrying she can't do this, she can't do that. My second girl seems to be more matured... but then again it's me the mother that overthink too much. And maybe it's me that is not so willing to release the grip... uhm... I need to learn to do this...

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Yes I do that too, thinking they can’t do certain things which makes us want to hold the grip even more.

I think we just need to go with our instincts and do the best we can to keep them safe. We can slowly, one step at a time let them handle things they are ready to handle and just be there for them when they need us.