Since my two girls were in car seats, I have blared Kelly Clarkson’s independence anthem. Raising independent strong young women has always been important to us. We support them, challenge them, give them space to make mistakes and opportunities to learn from them. We offer hope when it seems like nothing is going their way, celebrate their unique gifts, and encourage them to do things outside of their comfort zone.
This week, we say goodbye to our oldest as she heads off to college in the Pacific Northwest. As I write this, many parents are sharing the sorrow and celebrating the independence milestone that sending their child away to school signifies. Carving the path to independence is creating opportunities for our children to try new things, meet new people, navigate decisions on their own, make mistakes, and sometimes fail. This is where the learning and growth happens so that they can emerge from their journey stronger, wiser and more adept to receive what’s next on the road ahead.
Join me in supporting our independence seekers as they spread their wings to write their own stories. Let’s encourage them to share their losses as much as their wins, so we can reflect their growth back to them as they take flight, and soar. And when they glance back over their shoulder for guidance and reassurance, we are there.
We find strength from our own paths of independence, draw compassion from those experiences, and demonstrate courage and our own growth by letting them go. As they fly, we watch, listen, love and support them as they take each step forward, carving their independence path.