career transition and life coaching for physicians

The Greatest Spiritual Challenge of Parenting: Letting Go

I have just returned from New England where the Fall Color was breathtaking, and it was unseasonably warm.  I spent three inspiring days helping facilitate a parent-student family workshop at the Hyde School in Bath, Maine.  My son Michael, and our family attended Hyde between 1993 and 1996.  It was at Hyde that I was inspired to create my coaching career.  At Hyde both students and their families must work hard on their own personal growth, take on new challenges, and work hard to build trust and communication within the family.  This week was no exception.  I was deeply touched by the personal growth and family healing that took place within all 10 families in my coaching group.

Below you will find two short features from the Hyde Parent Manual.  One addresses the spiritual aspects of being a parent, written by Kabril Gibron in his book, THE PROPHET.  It is a thoughtful poem which establishes the basis for spiritual parenting: Learning to Let Go.  For most of us, it is this aspect of parenting which is the most difficult.  It is an especially challenging task at a time in our culture in which parents seem to be taking an increasingly aggressive role in guiding and controlling the life and options of their children, (even their college-age young adults).

This poem speaks to a much more important role parents must eventually play, that of learning to be a mentor so that children can create their own dreams, and find the strength and courage to actuate them.  I keep this poem on my refrigerator where I can look at it every day.  These principles have guided me in raising two highly creative, out-of-the-box children who demanded a large amount of freedom on their path to adulthood.  I am happy to discuss the issue of Letting Go with anyone who is challenged by this process today in their own lives.

The second feature is a poem addressing the topic of Letting Go more directly.  Within it you will find a discussion of both What Letting Go Is, and What It Is Not.  How we can express our love and caring for others, without controlling them or trying to control outcomes in other’s lives.  At it’s core, this poem defines the attitudes and behaviors which foster the personal growth, maturation, and sense of responsibility that fosters the development of those we love.  At the same time it helps us understand how to avoid the pain of co-dependency.

For those who would like to learn more about the Hyde School, and it’s character-based plan of education for both students and parents, I recommend visiting the Hyde School

website:  The theory and practice of the program is explained in greater detail in the book, “Character First”, by former headmaster, Joseph W. Gauld. ICS Press, 1993.




-By Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you
cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them
like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows
are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the universe.
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go
swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.




(Author unknown)

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off,
it’s the realization I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another,
it’s to make the most of myself.

To “let go” is not to care for,
but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

To “let go” is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To “let go” is not to be protective, it’s to permit
another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny
but to accept.

To “let go” is not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings,
and correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires
but to take each day as it comes,
and cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To “let go” is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To “let go” is to fear less
and love more.

Contact Dr. Moskowitz

  Address: Center for Professional & Personal Renewal 555 Bryant Street Suite 160 Palo Alto, CA 94301

  Phone: (650) 329 - 0297

  Web: Center for Professional and Personal Renewal

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