Letting go is a process that should begin in infancy in order to best prepare teens to launch
How to begin letting go in infancy
Letting go in infancy involves developing a reciprocal interaction where you honor their needs and allow the leadership to change. This connect-disconnect pattern will persist throughout childhood.
The need for a safe, reliable home base
Kids and teens need a safe home base, i.e. nurturing parents, they can come back to for comfort, encouragement, and grounding.
The many opportunities to let go throughout childhood
Letting go is a life-long process: Dr. Jordan points out many opportunities we have during childhood to turn things over to our children such as: sleeping thru the night, handling their own fears and other emotions, advocating for themselves, solving their own problems and conflicts, giving more say-so and decision-making, handling their mistakes and failures, only giving advice if asked or given permission, giving them free will to fail so they can choose to succeed and own the successes, give them the responsibility to know what’s best for them, and getting out of their way so they can forge their own path and story.
The value of mentors
Dr. Jordan describes the importance of kids finding safe bases, i.e. mentors, to encourage, guide, and inspire them.
View letting go as a lifelong process
Summary: letting go starts in infancy & continues at each stage of development. Seeing letting go as a life-long process makes it easier at age 18 when they launch into the world.
For more information on what teens and young adults need to successfully launch, read Dr. Jordan’s book, Letters from My Grandfather: Timeless Wisdom for a Life Worth Living
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