cover image Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind

Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind

Brenda Yoder. Herald, $15.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-5138-0236-7

Yoder (Balance, Busyness, and Not Doing It All), mental health counselor, blogger for Ten to Twenty Parenting, and mother of four, opens her useful parenting primer with a definition: “Fledge: of a young bird to develop wing feathers that are large enough for flight.” To help parents prepare for the process of enabling children to mature and eventually leave home, Yoder concentrates on five phases: giving up control, setting boundaries, building family ties, accepting mid-life with grace, and preparing for the transition to an empty nest marriage. Yoder’s text is honest as she shares how “for a mom fledging her kids, there’s a lot of loss,” and then speaks about the difficulties of the teenage years, when children grow distant, as well as the college years, when children usually require more space. She compares the grief that comes with seeing a child grow up as akin to watching a parent slip away, as she did with her own mother: “Grief is where I was stuck, teetering back and forth between holding on and letting go, between looking back and not wanting to look forward.” Readers who are in the process of readying their children to launch into adulthood will find Yoder’s text to be a helpful companion. (Mar.)