I like to be in control. I am a Type A person. Schedules, predictability, and routines are my best friends. Planning is one of my favorite pastimes. Even with a very unplanned pregnancy and birth, I still attempted to maintain control. Being in control gives me peace. It decreases my anxieties. The day-to-day with a child even with the best schedules and routines can be unpredictable. Which is why I had to learn that letting go of control in parenting can be beneficial for me and my child.
It doesn’t have to be a win or lose situation
Letting go of control doesn’t have to mean my child has won and I have lost. Letting go of control doesn’t mean I’ve lost control altogether forever. What it does mean is in that moment, controlling my child doesn’t matter. It means less frustration for both of us. Does it really matter if my child doesn’t put her cup down RIGHT NOW? No. Could it possibly mean if these actions continue there will be an appropriate consequence? Yes. But for now, who really cares?
Letting go equals less stress
Being in control can certainly ease stress. We know that routines and predictability can help both child and parent. However being in hyper-control to the point you are inflexible can bring stress too. It’s important to have a balance. There are lessons in letting go of control. You cannot control everything or everyone. How you as a parent reacts to shifts in control will impact your child.
Keep on living
My mom often says “keep on living” and honestly it resonates more today as a parent than it did when I was a child. You may find letting go of control in parenting difficult. Maybe you find it extremely easy. Either way, ask yourself, “Is this moment of control necessary”. No? Then, keep on living.