Special Needs: Scared to Let Go

By Focus on the Family
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Luke Flowers

Encouraging your child's independence is hard... but worth it.

It was time for Tyler’s first Easter egg hunt, and I was excited. My 5-year-old with cerebral palsy had made great strides in maneuvering his walker and could now bend and pick things up.

 But as the race began, I was heartbroken to see children swarming the field as my son hobbled far behind, his basket swinging from his walker. Intent on rescuing Tyler, I rushed to his aid. But instead of tears, he greeted me with a bright smile and a basket full of eggs! The other children had run so fast that their eggs had spilled out of their baskets.

That’s when I sensed God say, Hand your son over to Me, and his basket will always be filled with blessings. Trust Me with your son, and I will teach you both how to walk in faith.

I tended to be a helicopter mom, so handing my son over to anyone else wasn’t easy to do. Tyler fell down numerous times a day, sometimes breaking a wrist, fingers or other body parts. I wanted to protect him — physically and emotionally — but I learned that wasn’t always possible.

What I could do was encourage Tyler’s independence a little bit every day, helping build his character and relationship with the Lord. The following reminders may help you do the same with your child:

Let others teach you to stop hovering

My sister-in-law, Kelly, pulled me out of my comfort zone. I never would have dared to take Tyler to some of the places she insisted on. Tyler’s physical therapist persuaded me to take him to the Easter egg hunt that day, and my husband was determined to let Tyler try new things.

Give up some control

Let your child become as independent as possible. Letting go didn’t mean I cared for Tyler any less; my heart still ached when other kids made fun of him. But at the end of the day, Tyler would tell me what he had learned. Allow your child to handle a situation or task on his own, yet reassure him that you’re there to offer advice and help if needed.

Tyler, now 27, is a pediatrician and a strong man of faith. Bit by bit, God showed me how to walk in faith and hand my son over to Him. And bit by bit, I learned how to stop hovering and watch my son become the man God created him to be.

Lisa and Tyler Sexton are the authors of God Bless These Little Legs.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Sexton. Used by permission.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.

If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.