Summer a Time for Letting Go of Your Kids

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I used to be the kind of mom with chore charts and reading charts and list of things to do on the fridge to help them fill up their summer days.  And schedules. And rules about electronics posted on the fridge. And a reading program and…

You get the idea.

And you might be this kind of mom. And I loved being that kind of mom.

But I’m not that kind of mom anymore.  And I don’t know who changed…me or my children.

Because these days I seem to be working on one thing with my sixteen-year-old and seventeen-and-a-half-year-old and it’s this…

Letting them go.

Of course, I still have things to teach them. Yes, there is still some training before they hit the ground running in the real world.

And yet, I have raised my children well. I really have. Even in the midst of a hard marriage. Even through the pain of divorce. Even alone as a single mother.

My children are kind. My children love God. (They may still have to own their faith a bit, but that will come with time…heck, I’m still working out my salvation with fear and trembling every day and I’m 43.) My children have good friends. My children know that they earn their own grades. My children know right from wrong and most of the time land on the side of right. My children can withstand peer pressure, and even help others choose well in the midst of it. My children can make themselves a meal or two if I’m gone all day. My children can drive themselves around town. My children can take care of other people’s children. My children are aware of their backgrounds and family baggage and how they have to be careful in certain areas because of it. My kids are good kids.

And so this summer, I could give them lists. And some of you might do that with your children.  And that is exactly what your family needs.

But what my kids and I need are to enjoy each other’s company. And to laugh. And to not take everything so seriously (because I can tend to take EVERYTHING so seriously). And to not have a schedule. And to make our own choices on how we spend our time.

Frankly, I think this might be more for me than for them. I need to start seeing them as the emerging adults that they are becoming. I need to start practicing daily taking my hands off their lives and letting them live their own, mistakes and all, even if it drives me crazy.

My kids know they are loved. They know I am their safe place. And now, they need the space to find themselves, with me in the background, praying and cheering them on.

What is one way you can let your kids go, even if just a little bit?

Author  Elisabeth Klein, 2014

Elisabeth is a single mom to Sara (17-1/2) and Jack (16).  She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing.  She is the author of Moving on as a Single Christian Mom, Living Through Divorce as a Christian Woman: Questions & Suggestions, Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage: Questions & Suggestions, Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage, At the Corner of Broken & Love; One Girl, Third World; He Is Just That Into You; In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul.  All these books can be purchased on

Visit her website at

If you are in a difficult marriage or find yourself going through a divorce, she has created two private groups on Facebook that she would like to invite you to. Simply email her at for more information.

Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer’s Guild and has been featured on Moody’s In the Market with Janet Parshall, This is the Day with Nancy Turner, and Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea.

Unraveling: hanging onto faith through the end of a christian marriage is available at
Surviving in a difficult Christian marriage is available at
Living through divorce as a Christian woman is available at

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