Oh the emotions that come when launching a child into the college world! Whether they are staying home or leaving there is a host of emotions that every mother faces. There is so much uncertainty as this new season unfolds. How will our child handle the increased freedom, will they make good friend choices, will they be able to stand strong against negative social pressures, will they embrace our family values, will they be disciplined in their school work…are they ready?
I am thankful for the words of wisdom that Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo shared in a conversation on this topic just before we released our daughter for college. Their words of wisdom pierced deep in my heart and filled me with peace, truth and a great perspective. I summarized this conversation into five main take-aways:
1. You cannot make your children wise.
Now is not the time to teach and train them; it is the time to trust what you have put in them. You have equipped them for this season, you have modeled how to be wise and how to make decisions. It is now time to apply what they know. You have to trust now. Trust what has been instilled in their heart.
2. Look at them as a person not a child.
This viewpoint changes how we approach the relationship.
3. Discern what is moral and non-moral.
Step back and give them the freedom to fail, especially on non-moral issues. Ask God for discernment on when to speak up or step in.
4. Don’t put restrictions on them.
Instead of requiring them to call you every week at a certain time, instead text and ask when they would have a good time to talk. This will give them the opportunity to ‘want’ to call instead of it being mandated.
Encourage dad (if possible) to step in and communicate with notes and texts….instead of all communication being with mom.
5. Look forward to new memories.
Instead of reminding them what you will miss (and making it about you), focus on the positive. Let them know you genuinely look forward to creating new memories.
Let them go and embrace this new season!