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Letting go of your child at graduation time

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The season of endings and beginnings is upon us.

During these past few weeks, high school seniors are graduating and preparing for post-high school endeavors. Some have been accepted to colleges, others are planning to enter the work force, while still others simply don't know what they are going to do.

While the graduates make their plans, the parents are thrown into the mix. Student loans, FAFSA forms, scholarships, jobs, money and transportation issues are a concern for all parents as their children prepare to leave the nest.

One of my long-time friends, whose youngest graduated this month, sent a frantic text message to her friends today: "I need your help with something. I am having a hard time with letting go. Help before I lose my mind."

My heart went out to her. There is an unknown when it comes to letting go of your child. As parents, most of us raise our kids to the best of our ability, doing what we believe to be right when there is no manual available to guide us.

My friend and her husband did a great job. Her child graduated with highest honors, and was accepted to a good school, and knows what she wants to do with her life.

I texted my response: "I'm sure a lot of parents feel that way. You have done a good job raising her up right. You have to trust that her upbringing is a part of her. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.'"

It was easy for me to impart this to her. I saw the sacrifices she and her husband made to ensure the quality of education and upbringing her child received.

Looking back to my own children's graduations, I was worried too. I tried to raise them right, but as a single mom, I was always working. And when I wasn't working, I was working at home or sleeping. The time I spent with my children was precious to me, but I really wished I had a "how to raise kids" manual to help me.

It was a youth pastor who gave me encouragement one day. "There is no manual to raising kids. God didn't have one either - look at what His children did in the Garden!"

As I think about my friend's worry about letting go, I remember those words spoken by a wise youth pastor.
And I believe in what Proverbs 22:6 says.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.



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