One of the hardest things for me to do this year on our homeschool journey has been to learn to let go. It is something I have always struggled with. I know some of you can identify with this. Your kids have a project to do and you end up taking over! Most of us have been there, often to the detriment of our kids.
This morning we were doing some crafts and Jack said “I feel like you don’t trust me to do it myself”.
It stopped me in my tracks and I took a big step back and let him figure it out himself. By constantly trying to help or making suggestions does imply that I don’t think he can do it himself. It doesn’t matter if my intentions are to help, he still feels I don’t trust him.
When we started homeschooling earlier this year, I would jump in too quickly to help them solve a sum or correct a word. It took me a while to realise I was even doing it. Letting go is not easy because as a parent, our natural instinct is to help our kids, to make it easy for them but in the end we can actually do more harm.
Tips For Letting Go
How do you let go? It is hard, but the more you do it the more you realise your child is actually capable of doing more than you realised.
- Set boundaries for yourself! Give your kid the space to work it out.
- Let them make a mistake if need be. Teach them that mistakes are ok and how we learn.
- Trust them.
- Trust yourself. This can be tough when you are also teaching your child. Trust that you have given them the tools they need.
Why Is It Important To Let Go?
The short answer is that our kids grow when we let go and give them the space they need.
We were doing some popsicle stick crafts this morning. Jack wanted to make an airplane. I knew he could do it but he was struggling a little bit. The pieces weren’t sticking, the wing kept falling off. He was getting super frustrated. He took a time out, came back and tried again. My instinct was to help him and probably end up doing it for him. But I resisted the urge and let him figure it out.
And look at what he created. Isn’t it just the coolest thing? He was so chuffed with it. He kept adding to it, making it better. When the wings wouldn’t work, he took it all apart, tried again until he got it right.
I know I am guilty of not giving my kids enough credit. I too often decide for them what they can or can’t do. It is not fair to them because it does make them feel inadequate.
If you take a step back and let them try it themselves you will be surprised just how much they can do.