Monday, April 18, 2011

The release program has begun

A few weeks ago, the oldest rode his bike to the store to buy 1/4 inch rope. The release program has begun. His cheeks were glowing. He was so excited to have ventured forth. Found his way -- back and forth.

As a mom the what-ifs creep in: what-if someone snatched him. What if he got injured? What if he got lost? What if a dog attacked him? Was it the right decision to let him go?

But yet, I, too am in danger every time I venture forth: what if someone snatched me, what if a dog bit me? What if I was in an accident? I, too, venture forth in a myriad of horrible possibilities every day. Usually they don't happen.

When I voice my fear or what I've done to other moms, we share the most, worst awful horrible story that has ever happened to us or our neighbor or that we have read about. And that feeds my fear.

But, truly, one day he needs to live on his own and be the protector of the weak. Oh, I know he is young. But I also know that when I was his age, I biked and biked and biked all over. I loved the exhilaration. It was good for my imagination, my exercise, my sense of direction, my independence.

And so it is good for his imagination, his exercise, his sense of direction, his independence.

We are beginning the release. After all, we are raising adults not children.

How about any of you? Do you have any release tips from your own parenting or your own growing up years? I am all ears!

Jen @ Finding Heaven for Soli Deo Sisterhood. Come and join the encouragement.


  1. Oh, Kathleen, I'm not there yet. I was just telling my husband last night that I will never let my daughter (who is only five right now) ride a bike alone anywhere (should not watch those mysteries). I was an only child whose mom had a hard time releasing so I'm fighting against upbringing and instincts. All tips welcome.

  2. my kids are older and yes release is tough, I still have a hard time, John looks at me, rolls his eyes and says "they have to grow up sometime" My oldest is begging for her drivers license so she can drive herself to her horse, only 4 miles, but she has to go thru a highway intersection that has a nasty accident about once a month. Maybe when she is 30...

  3. Gaby -- I do remember when my children were 2 and 3 and thinking I would never let them be alone in the backyard for even a moment with me inside the house. For me, I couldn't imagine them older so some of it gets easier as they age...but not completely ever easy.

    Christi -- I can see John rolling eyes. Isn't it good to have balance between the parents? I know I appreciated that as a child.

    Thanks for the encouragement Uncle KIJ.

    My parents and my husband's parents were good about releasing us. I have appreciated that then and even into adulthood, especially when someone has struggled to be released by their parents even into adulthood. It does help to have a good model.

  4. Just yesterday, my 1st grader had a friend come over after school. When the mom picked her daughter up, she invited Abby over one day. My heart screamed -- "But,I don't know you well enough." But, upon reading this, it makes me think, "how well is enough?" oh, I'm still so torn, but this gives me a lot to think about.

    So glad you linked up today!

  5. Oh, I get it. A couple weeks ago, we let our daughter ride her bike to a friend's house. . .now, granted the friend only lives seven houses away, but the what-if's hit, big time.

    I wish I had advice for the release program. Right now, I'm forcing my unwilling heart to take part.

  6. I remember the first time I handed the car keys over to our daughter. My husband was out of the country and I sensed God saying "give her the keys, Glenda." I smiled and gave her the keys . . . the minute she left, I fell on my bed . . . begging God to keep her safe. True story.

    My best hint . . . listen to your husband. Mine helped me so much know when it was ok to say no and when it was good to say yes.

    Good job, mom


  7. I am there. My 15 year old son has been embarking on trips with his friend who can drive! Help...It's so hard to let go.

  8. I'm glad to know that I am not alone in the difficulty of releasing our children. It is hard. And I do love the tip from Glenda about listening to the hubby. I do try to do that.

  9. Great post & you are not alone. I have two boys, one getting ready to turn 14 & the other that turn 13 back in Dec. I am always in fear when they are riding their bikes, but like you I have to let them be boys & grow up.

    Thank you for stopping by & leaving your encouraging words about the loss of my mother. It has been hard, but I am at peace with her death. Thanks again.

  10. My girls are almost 2 and 7. My oldest I am slowly letting go of by letting her walk about 1/3 of the way to school by herself. I can see her the whole way, but I try not to wait. I was a only child and my mom still has a hard time letting go. My husbands parents let go too early and even though he was safe, he never felt that sense of safety that is so important growing up. They were never around and he was left to himself a lot.
    Your son sounds like he feels safe and trusted by you. That is what is important. Give him more and more trust, if he breaks that trust start all over again after a while of not allowing the freedom to roam. It all goes together.
    Good luck in releasing your children.

  11. Having my kids go in twos helps me feel a lot better about things...they even go together when the walk the dogs around the block.

  12. What? You mean we have to let them go out there on their own? =p I know that day will come so maybe I should start preparing right now. hehe

    "But, truly, one day he needs to live on his own and be the protector of the weak." Totally right.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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