Parenting: Control vs. Letting Go

This word is getting louder and more intense as I get older: Control.

As a young parent, I kept things safe and predictable for my kids. This control showed up in planning, organization, busy work, staying up late night or keeping things clean. I am a lover of the online calendar and to do lists. The house is organized and we know what we will be doing for the next few months. Controlling the situation was a way to make my kids safe, give them a peaceful home and offer more opportunities to the family.

Later, control with teenage kids became a bumpy ride. They pushed back and I thought, “I know what’s best because I love them so much.”

My friends who have adult kids tell me, “You don’t have any control with your kids later in life.” The skill of having control, which I was very proud of and has brought me success and order into my life, is now bringing me anxiety and confusion.

This brings me to the question, “Did I really ever have any control?”

In our society today, I get the perception that if I plan, organize, sacrifice and work hard, that things work out in my favor. I’m realizing that I spend more time attempting to control my situation than actually living in the present moment, which will be gone in a second just to become the past.

Reflecting on my kids, I now know that I just want to BE with them instead of doing and giving the best to them. Instead I want to go with the flow when I am with them. Not perfect, but together.

As my oldest is off to college, I don’t know what he is up to and I am praying that he has some self-control. I guess I have to let go of those thoughts…

The next thought comes from my inner critic telling me if I let go, I am “giving up.” I sense my body and feel, no its not that. I just need time to process all these changes. Giving up is a feeling of helplessness. I know my life is fundamentally good and I raised good kids.

Letting go is about shedding the anxiety which gives me emotional freedom and somehow creates the time and type of wealth I want. Funny how not worrying is so freeing.

Let me ask you what is your relationship to CONTROL?


Vaishali Chadha

A Transformational Coach, Teacher, Spiritual Tour Guide, Mom

Vaishali works with people who are longing to discover their true selves. As a skilled coach, she will empower you to tap in and act upon your innate sources of intelligence and creativity by loosening the grip of old beliefs and habits. She lives in San Francisco and Pondicherry. After traveling the world and working in high powered companies she would say the true adventure of a lifetime is being a parent.

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