I may not be a doctor of anything but I have a theory. I have been reluctant to throw this out there but now after we have had our third kid I am fairly certain that it’s a fact. The amount of time you spend playing peek-a-boo translates into your child’s ability to be ok with you dropping them off in the care of others. Because even though they can’t see you they know that you always come back. We tell our kids we will come back but young kids deal in concrete, not abstract thought so if you can show them that you will be back by hiding your face then popping out again you demonstrate that even when you can’t see me I am nearby and you will see me soon. They can trust you.
I am not sure if this helps the parents with the letting go part when their kids get older but it may. I do however know many two-year-old teachers that would benefit from this theory of mine.
As a parent dropping my oldest off at kindergarten I think I am starting the processes of peek-a-boo where I can let my boy go and know that he will come back. It’s not easy but few things are easy when it comes to parenting. Our job is to equip, train, release. I have to prepare my kids to be everything God created them to be and not selfishly hold them back because they fill a gap in my life.
This reminds me of Sally Lloyd-Jones’ definition of faith in her Jesus Storybook Bible –
Faith is knowing that God loves you and because He loves you, you can trust Him.
7 comments On Hide and Go Seek and Letting Go.
Great post! "…I think I am starting the processes of peek-a-boo where I can let my boy go and know that he will come back…" Great perspective.
Thanks Star, it's funny right how we help our kids let go then they help us.
Amen! Amen! and Amen! So many times, both as a parent and in church, I have witnessed parents explain how their kids have separation anxiety followed by doting, checking, reminding, assuring, more doting, checking in, more reassurance, and a general unwillingness to leave. So many parents are selfish and crave the attention and affirmation of their children that they refuse to let go – even for a couple of hours. Either intentionally or unintentionally, they "invent" or contribute to this separation problem because they crave the feeling of being needed.
My three year old (the last of 4 kids) is going through a stage where he cries like it is the end of the world when his mom leaves to go somewhere. That said, once she actually does leave, he always (and I do mean always) fine withing about 30-45 seconds. Sometimes, especially if he's tired, that process can take up to two minutes. The point, after 120 seconds, he's fine and back to his normal happy-go-lucky state. If Mom refused to leave when he started wailing, she could easily create a kid that needs hi Mommy at all times, and who doesn't want to feel needed? In the long run though, such actions create a socially crippled child – all for the immediate wants of the parent.
I find this particularly troublesome in Christian parents who should be finding there sense of purpose and belonging in God alone and not in the emotional attachment of their kids. God gives us our kids. We are his stewards when it comes to caring for and raising them. Yes, we love them. God knows we do. But in the end, they are his and our job in to train them up in the way they should go and point them towards him. When we refuse to let go, we are, essentially, making ourselves an idol for our kids and trying to stand in the place of God. That is somewhere that I never want to be.
I could go on, but I feel like I am rambling. I will say that one of the things that brought me to God in the first place was the realization that he loved them more than I was ever even capable of. This is a truth which I strive to help them understand on a daily basis!
Dad in the Middle
Thanks for the reply Wayne. Totally agree.
Tomorrow is going to be the foundation of one of those days for me. Stephen my eldest is off to play school for the first time. Letting go is sooo hard. My wife works from home so she is able to provide intellectual and fun play, but at some point the social interaction with others become a skill that can only be learned by letting go.
Stephen plays hide and seek a lot, but he always wants to be found – I hope that he will not despair when we leave him there for a few hours.
Crazy how fast they grow. The first day of school will be a bitter sweet day for all of us first timers. It's the end of a season and the start of another one.
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