Letting the Children Go

To all families there comes the time of letting the children go. Sooner or later, they leave home and move out into the world. 

But for parents, truly letting children go is often much more complex than that. It requires the emotional cutting of ties with expectations; hopes; dreams—about what our children should do with their lives; who we think our children are; our views of their abilities; personality; gifts; ambitions.

For business families especially, expectations confront realities with regard to the roles the children could, should, will, will not play in the family business. How are the children disappointing, perplexing, annoying?

By tying themselves to agendas for their children’s future, parents impinge on their own inner peace. It’s really hard to see and be truthful about these inner agendas, and harder still to let them go—but this way lies freedom.

The children are set free to follow their own paths—to continue in our footsteps; to surpass us, to do less, to succeed, or fail. And parents are set free as well, to explore the challenges and rewards their own future holds.