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Don’t ‘let go’ — embrace an expanded relationship

September 24, 2018

Your child may be going into first grade, entering high school or moving away for college — all huge transitions accompanied by big feelings.

They are stepping into a new way of being in the world, a world with different experiences that call for greater self-reliance. You are stepping into a new unknown. Sometimes the only advice you are given is to “let go.”

I don’t think “letting go” is helpful. It implies disconnecting when you are searching for a new way to connect. I like the idea of “embracing an expanded relationship” because it is much more intentional.

Expanding your relationship with your child means honoring where they are. Notice how they handle things more responsibly. Notice the benefits of their growth. Recognize what they are feeling. This will allow you to be more present. They still need you.

Expanding your relationship means honoring where you are by fully feeling the feelings around this big shift. Cry when you feel sad about leaving this stage of life. Deeply feel the hurt if they say something cutting. Experience the happiness of seeing your child grow. Feel the fear of entering this new unknown. Feel mad when you don’t want things to change.

This will free you to intentionally move toward something new and full rather than resisting. Resisting keeps you locked in the past while attempting to control the future.

By moving toward something — embracing the expanded relationship — you will be more purposeful. You will define this new unknown on your own terms.

Maggie Macaulay is the owner of Whole Hearted Parenting, offering coaching, courses and workshops. Contact her at 954-483-8021 or Maggie@WholeHearted Parenting.com. Visit her website at www.WholeHeartedParenting.com.

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