Cutting the apron string

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6


One of the hardest things to do as a parent is letting go. Allowing your children to spread their wings and fly. 

All parents must allow their children to fly, you can not keep them under your wing forever. 

Do you remember when you were a child and you learnt to spread your wings: you left home, you started to make your own decisions, formed your own opinions that may have been different to your parents, you feel in love, you married, you have children. You may have made mistakes, but that is a necessary part of life —without mistakes we do not learn. Life is painful, but we all make it through

We have all survived.

So will your children. 

But you will need courage and a trust in the Lord to allow your children to do what you did. 

It isn't easy but it is necessary. Whilst they are young you need to start thinking about this — do you wait until the very last minute or do you allow them to spread their wings gradually. 

* When will you allow them to have a sleep over at a friend's house?

* When will you allow them to catch a bus without an adult?

* When will you allow them to go shopping with friends?

* When will you allow them to travel to visit family and stay awhile?

* Climb a tree without supervision?

* When will you allow them to make their own decisions even if it means they may fail at times?

* When will you allow them to choose their own reading material that perhaps you don't necessarily agree with?

* When will you allow them to find a part-time job?

* What about attending university (college)?

* Choosing a career?

* When will you let them learn to drive a car?

* When will you allow them to go on a date?

My eldest son visited his grandparents alone when he was six years old — I put him on the plane and grandma picked him up. He spent a week with his grandparents loved it. My children were allow to catch buses in their early teens and had sleep overs at primary school.  I gave my children mobile phones so they could keep in contact with me if they felt uncertain and they always knew I could pick them up if necessary. 

We cannot keep them wrapped up and no matter how painful it is, we must let go. We have to let them develop independences because if we don't they will find it so much harder to cope, in fact for some children it can be crippling and  incredibly stressful if they have not had a gradual introduction towards independences.

Whilst we think it is a good idea to moddycoddle our children, it isn't, in fact we are setting them up for all sorts of problems later in life.  I grew up with much more freedom that modern children — the change that has occurred in parenting in the last 20 years has not necessarily been good — helicopter parents creates both anxious parents and anxious children. Childhood is stretching longer and longer and we are far more protective of our children in their teens than ever before. We protect them from getting hurt, we avoid burdening them from problems and in some families the children and young adults are so shielded from real-world events that they do not know what is happening in other parts of the world or even in other suburbs in their own city. They don't have an understanding of major issues such as the homeless and the poor and of politics — these are people that will grow up and become adults with little resiliences — and without resiliences it can be hard to adapt to a work situation or even mixing in society (which we have to do).  

I believe it is important to gradually let them fly because allowing it only at the last minute is unfair on your child and they are much more likely to become stressed and anxious if they haven't had a gradual lead-up to this. We all must leave home and fend for ourselves. This isn't new, it has been happening for centuries and we must give freedom to our children too and not make this transition difficult or painful. In fact everything we teach them leads to this point.


  1. My patient husband often speaks of roots and wings with our boys and my heart is full of joy at the thought of both!

    1. Its very true - we need to build strong roots but wings to let them fly :))

  2. What an excellent post, my friend. I've taken it to heart.

    OH my, Joy! You are right about vet bills!* When my little dog was a pup, I asked the nurse (is that the right word?) to look at a little tiny white bump that looked like a pimple on my pup's bum when I dropped my pup off for shots. Well she called the doctor in and they charged an extra $30 or so!

    When I picked Penny up, I was in tears, because that was just about all my grocery money. I paid and drove off, but ended up turning around and going back to explain that was my grocery money, and I had no idea that they were going to charge for it. I also told them my husband was going to be upset, and I just wasn't going to come back if they wouldn't help me out. The doctor refunded the extra money. After all—
    it was just a pimple!

    *In reference to your comment on Harvest Lane Cottage.

    1. Our cat got bitten on the tail by a neighbours cat and at first we thought it would be ok - $770 later it was finally all mended :( Then a week later another of our cats got an eye infection - two trips to the vet and $280 it was ok :( This isn't to mention a trip to the vet 2 months ago to have 2 teeth removed and that was $550 :( :( its been a bit painful to say the least!!! I hope we don't need to see the vet again for some time!!

  3. It's hard to imagine them leaving when they're still young!!! I do pray a whole lot about the way we're raising our children and I think a lot about how it will be when they're older. We've already worked hard for many years to teach them skills to help them survive through their adult years - so we really have been preparing for that time for many years now!

    1. Its something we all have to face at some point of our children's lives and its even harder if they move a long way from home such as my brother who moved overseas. I still think my mother finds this hard.


Post a Comment