Letting Go

Letting go is not a natural action for mothers or for someone struggling to save self from a crisis situation.  In fact, it is one of the most difficult actions a parent must undertake if the child is to survive on his own.  It just isn’t as easy as a mother bear makes it look when she sends her cub(s) up a tree and proceeds to swat them hard every time they try to climb down.  Then, she disappears into the wilderness never to return to care for them again.

            Even after our children are grown and have established their own homes and families, a mother feels an ache inside like her stomach is in her throat every time she watches them leave after a short visit.  Perhaps the umbilical cord nerve endings were tougher than we thought.  The house always feels a little empty after the children and grandchildren have gone back to their homes.

            At school, I see parents face the tough task of “letting go” of their children that first day of preschool or kindergarten.  In especially tough cases, mothers cry almost as much as the child.  I do my best to assure the distraught parent(s) that I have never lost a child yet!  But after the parent(s) leave the building, the child immediately starts exploring the classroom to see what interesting things are there.

            The harder task is the parent who absolutely will not “let go” of the child.  This parent creates a strong dependency on the child’s part.  I’ve seen some of these children who cannot make a simple decision on their own without input from mom…even at twenty years of age.  Thus, the parent had good intentions: keep the child safe; but the results were an emotionally crippled child.

            Letting go can also be an even harder task for a person who has developed an addiction to something.  We are all very aware of drug and alcohol addictions.  However, I am more aware of the addiction of children and parents to video gaming.  My husband and I are constantly observing family meals at local restaurants where no one speaks…all are playing or using their phones and video devices at the table. 

            Let me make two observations that are becoming more factual each year with research that is currently being done.  It is harder for children to remember letters, spelling associations, etc. if they use computer keyboards or other such input devices.  By not hand writing letters, words, and notes, there is no tactile sense being placed in their memory formation.  All keyboard input feels identical to the touch.

            Vocabulary development is limited when children do not hear or experience the advanced language structure used by adults in their presence.  That is one reason we ask parents to read books to their children daily.  When the mind is familiar with language structures, the child is better equipped to form his or her own words, sentences, and stories. 

            My closing thoughts on the subject of letting go is this:  I must let go of the constantly expanding schedules that face me each day and find some quality time to just enjoy life’s precious moments!  I did just that this week.  With only three days left before our new school year begins with an Open House, my husband and I took off in our camper for Palo Duro Canyon in Texas.  We have just returned from being refreshed by nature’s wonders as well as being reminded of the rich history that brought about these United States.  Now, I am ready to tackle the world…well, at least my classrooms of children!

-           Kay