Three Things about “Letting Them Go”

By | 2015-10-26T09:05:11+00:00 October 26, 2015|Parenting, Secondary|

Last spring, the parents of the grads made a video called, “Let Them Go” and rewrote the famous song, “Let it Go” from the Disney hit movie, Frozen. It was funny. But it was also true. And although I love them more than anything on the planet, letting my children grow up and go is hard work.

1. I can’t protect them anymore.  

Last June, my oldest daughter packed up all her stuff, (well, not all her stuff, much of it is still in my garage) and drove to Fort Nelson BC to start her career as a nurse. It was hard to watch her go. Fort Nelson is a long, long way away and she has a difficult job. On her first shift, a patient died.

My second oldest daughter packed up in June too, and flew by float plane to the Spatsizi Plateau for her third summer working in an exclusive and remote fly-in fishing lodge for 57 days. That’s a hard job too and not without its dangers. Between flying, jogging near Grizzly bears and paddling a pristine river right past a bull-moose, her adventures can cause me worry.

After graduation last June, my son started his carpentry apprenticeship and a few weeks ago explained to me casually,“I nearly slid right off a 25’ roof top the other day at the Gleaners, but Chad caught me at the edge. No problem.” 

I have to let them go. 

2. I can’t control them anymore.

Some would say that I’m a person who needs to feel “in control.” My kids actually don’t find that to be a positive trait. But, as much as I have a tendency to give advice about things they are choosing to do, I have found that perhaps their independence is more important than my desire to control. At this stage, they will likely learn more from their own choices and the consequences than they’ll learn from me telling them what is going to happen. 

I have to let them go.

3. I can’t solve all their problems anymore. 

When they were younger, I felt like I could solve problems for them. But that isn’t the way it works now. They have to solve problems for themselves. A school in the United States has a policy that the office will not receive lunches brought by parents for students. They figure lessons of responsibility are better learned by hunger than by enabling. This applies to a lot more in life than just a forgotten lunch. 

I have to let them go.

All three of these things lead me to the conclusion that I have to let them go and trust that God will guide them. Our home, the church and their communities of believers will provide them with the wisdom they need to live productive and fruitful lives for God’s glory. 

Love God, love people and do stuff…and let them go.


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Roy van Eerden
Roy van Eerden

Thanks Gerry. I didn’t know Katelyn took a job in Fort Nelson. that is a long way away. Blessings,