Watching our children grow up is bittersweet - Catholic Courier

Watching our children grow up is bittersweet

Why is it so difficult for parents to let their children make their own choices?

Instinctively, we want to protect them from harm. That is why we repeatedly preach, "Make good choices." And when things seem awry, we sometimes can step in and stop them from heading down a bad path.

But what if a new path is one that does no harm, and yet is one you feel the child may regret when he gets older?

Now, I will admit something that I’m not proud of and is sometimes the source of conflict with my two children. I am a bit of a control freak.

So, when my son complained endlessly about playing violin when he was younger, my husband and I tried all sorts of bargaining chips. We offered him deal after deal until the struggle was just not worth it. He played until the end of middle school, which had been our agreed upon end date. My husband and I are still sad about this. He does not miss playing at all.

Now, we are in a much different situation. He loves basketball. He has played on teams for many years. After the end of last season, though, he announced he was done with playing for the school team. I kept thinking he would change his mind and was just going through a phase.

After a recent discussion with my son and friends and family, I realize I have to stop trying to impose my will. He is certainly old enough to decide for himself. And he can’t play because I selfishly love basketball. He wisely even said that he wants to spend more time on academics. I can’t argue with that.

God has a plan for him, and I have to let it play out.


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