Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

Sleepaway Camp Blues

August 9th, 2010 by Deb McLean

Casey’s back from camp.  No contact with Tim or I for a week.  The “blues” were not hers, they were mine.  She’s a happy, independent kid…She had a blast!  It got me thinking.  From the moment a child is born, they are growing up and away from you.  It’s critically important to allow separation and discovery along the way.

I read a lot about parenting from experts.  I read because I want to be the best mother possible, clearly it’s the most important job I’ll ever have.  We all have to hope that if we have done a good enough job in raising them, they will not need us at all. That’s a hard pill to swallow when your life revolves around your child for 17+ years. 

For some, the prospect of letting go is difficult to imagine.  But, we have to allow our children the freedom to make mistakes.  Yes, it will be hard. Yes, things will happen. And yes, it will be the perfect learning opportunity to discuss how to handle things better the next time, if there is a next time. But this is how we learned and how they will learn. We bump along, make mistakes and, hopefully learn from them. 

Controlling your kids’ behavior may lead to the perfectly mannered child while they are with you, but what will they do when you’re not? If they are always told how to act, isn’t there a point of rebellion just to see what if? You’ve heard of the syndrome of first year college kids gone wild.  It’s a frightening thought. 

The lesson of discovery is invaluable. Action creates consequence, whether bad or good.  I realize as my daughter enters high school that she’s going to be making a lot of decisions without me.  I had to keep quiet (and those who know me well, know that’s no small feat) when we met with her guidance counselor.  She and I had discussed what she wanted so I knew, but the answers had to come from her. Yes, she’ll be making a lot of decisions without me, but I’m confident they will be the right ones.  That’s all I can hope and pray for and she deserves that freedom.

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