It’s that time of year again. Your child is starting nursery school, or ‘proper school’, or moving up to secondary, or going off to college or university. And you thought ‘letting go’ meant letting them ride a bike without stabilisers!
Parenting seems to be a process of letting go and then letting go a bit more and then a bit more. And a bit more after that.
So, of all the attitudes you can choose to adopt, probably the most helpful (for you and for them) is the ‘assume they’ll be ok’ approach. As in all probability they will be. Millions of children have done this before, and they have generally been ok. Within the wide range of ‘normal’, your child’s experience will be along the continuum of Absolutely Fine From the Start, to Settling in After a Few Teething Problems.
You can expect your child to have some days that are easy and some days that are hard. Either way they will learn and grow, and probably more from the challenging stuff than the easy times.
If you are prone to anxiety, it’s really worth cultivating a confidence and trust in your child’s ability to cope with life, both because that attitude will transfer to them, and for the sake of your own sanity. And it will stand you in very good stead for the day they set off to back-pack around distant corners of the world about which you know nothing, take up mountain climbing, or announce their intention of starting a career as a pilot in an air display team.