The Mama Bear Letting Go
Updated: Mar 3, 2020
The old saying that the Mama Bear will protect her young is true, but at some point the Mama Bear needs to sit back and let her young (teens in this situation) make their own decisions, make their own mistakes, and learn how to take that first step into adulthood. We've all spent years teaching, guiding and modeling behaviors for our children and it's so important to trust that we've done the right thing. That we've done everything we can to prepare them for that huge next step when they fly the coop and head off to college.
Although it wasn't easy, I started using this philosophy when my eldest was 16 and my youngest 14. Some of the things that I believe helped them make the right decisions (and even make decisions at all):
At an early age, even before teen years, they were responsible for having the first conversation with their coach or teacher. No matter how difficult the subject was. And the good thing, because they both played at a highly competitive level at an early age, the coaches prefer to speak directly with their athletes first.
If there was an issue, I had them thoughtfully think about what happened, why it happened and what they were going to do to prevent it from happening again. (A huge process they will use throughout their life)
When they would ask me if they could do something or they wanted me to make a decision for them, I flipped the tables and asked them what they would do.
Kids will make mistakes and make the wrong decisions. But so do parents. Praise them when they make the right decision, coach them when they don't. And just love them unconditionally.