I have a hard time “letting go” of emotional “things” in my life. It can be people, things, ideas, foods, etc. it is just hard for me to move forward when I am use to a routine. This summer I think I am going to have to “let go” of my oldest son and give him a tad bit of more freedom. Why? You may ask…because he is fiercly independent (wonder who he got that from) and I do not want to suffocate him. Let me explain.
For the first time in his life, he is enrolled in a summer camp that is literally 25 miles from my house. When I first found out that he had earned a spot at the camp, I was thrilled then I started to think about transportation. At first I just said I would take him (and pick him up) daily. Then gas prices began to creep up and my plans got “tossed out the window.” Luckily, the camp secured two school buses to pick up (and drop) off kids at various elementary schools around the city. I decided that for the first time I would allow him to ride the school bus. I bought him a cellphone, and discussed with him about appopriate bus behavior and I drove him to the bus stop. The first day I was a nervous wreck..worried about the bus being safe, etc. Then at the end of the day he got into the truck and said his first day on the bus was “cool”. I kept inquiring about particulars but he continued to say it was cool and that despite the kids being loud he enjoyed riding the bus. I was slightly annoyed but I backed off. Then about a month ago, while I was in GAP buying him some clothes he came in and began to tell me what he liked (and disliked) and basically took over the shopping trip. Again I allowed him to take the lead and as long as the clothes looked decent I did not complain.
As you can see his independence and determination is not just apparent in his nonchalance about riding the bus, but in everything he does. He wants to voice his opinion in the school he attends next year, he wants to negotiate his allowance, etc. At first I would respond with the classic, “because I told ya so” reasoning when I wanted to justify me making all decisions about him but I quickly realized this frustrates and confuses him. So little by little I am allowing him to make minor decisions to help nurture his independence and let him grow into a competent young man. His whole life his father and I have been molding him into becoming a responsible young man. We try and lead by example instead of just constantly telling him what he should be doing.
So, what do you do when you have to “let go” a bit? Any advice?