We all have some work we can do when it comes to our family lives, unless your June and Ward Cleaver (hope that’s their name), If you don’t know who that is, they were the parents in Leave it Beaver. I barely remember that show, but for some reason I remember the parents being perfect, and having all the answers. I often think that’s part of the problem with today’s parenting, we don’t let our kids figure things out for themselves. We are always there to smooth the path, and to lead the way. We become so wrapped up in our children’s lives sometimes, that we don’t know where they begin and where we end.
I am so guilty of being that person. I was so wrapped up in my kids lives, that they were my only sense of purpose. I have an older son, he’s 24 and I’ve learned many lessons from being his momma. I have a 12 year old daughter, and that’s a whole different ball game. Girls are more fragile, and emotional, and down right confusing at times. I seek knowledge daily, to help me be a better mom. To do what’s right and what’s best for her, not what I emotionally feel I need to do. I’ve learned to separate my needs and wants, from my children’s needs and wants.
We didn’t have kids so they could fulfill our lives. We all had an idea in our minds of what our kids would be like. We picture many different dreams, and scenarios about their lives before they even arrive. We have hopes , and expectations that they need to live up too. Like they have to play sports, or they have to get good grades, they have to go to college, they have to be in the band, they have to be good role models. (You get the idea, because you too had a picture in your mind)
When I found out I was having a daughter I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to buy her cute clothes, and dress her in the most adorable outfits. And I did just that, up until she was about 5 years old, and then all of that came to a screeching halt. All of a sudden she had a mind of her own. She wanted to start picking out her own clothes. Of course at first I was like O.K., have at it. But as time when on, her style became for funky. She began to wear flower prints, with zebra leggings and all of these crazy colors. She was turning into Punky Brewster right before my very eyes.
I’m gonna keep it real with you, I resisted this for a couple of years. I put up a fight, I mean come on she had all of these cute clothes, and she was leaving our house looking homeless. At some point after driving myself crazy arguing with her, begging and pleading, and down right being pissed off, I remembered when I read something somewhere about picking your battles. I wasn’t getting anywhere with her. She still wore whatever the hell she wanted, and I still ended up all pissed off. So I decided to let go. I decided I was going to let her dress however the hell she wanted, and I was going to suck it up buttercup.
I have grown so much as a mom over the last few years. I’ve challenged myself to be better, and be more informed. I took a look at the world and I saw a lot of kids, full of pain. I also saw that a lot of it was brought on by their own parents. Do parents mean to hurt their kids? Well some people are down right abusive, so yes they do. But most parents love their kids. They want to help them live the best possible lives, and they will do anything to ensure that, that happens. But the way people parent today, versus how I was parented, is totally backwards. Somewhere along the line parents started causing more harm then good.
It’s not our job as parents to fix everything for our kids. It is our job, to give them the tools necessary to fix it themselves. If every time your kid has a problem, you come to the rescue, you are teaching them that they don’t have the answers, and your robbing them of the ability to learn how to problem solve. They need to figure things out for themselves. They need to become problem solvers so they can gain confidence and self worth. Think about when you are proud of yourself. What gave you that feeling? I’m proud of myself when I accomplish something that I set out to do. It makes me feel good and it fills up my soul. I feel pride, and excitement in what I’ve done, and it makes me want to do more.
But if someone else did it for me, I wouldn’t feel that way. I would actually feel a little depressed and defeated, because I couldn’t figure it out on my own. I would feel like I failed, I might even want to just give up. Do you want your child to feel like this? I’m betting you don’t. I’m guessing you want to give them the best possible life you can possibly give them, and if that’s so then you are on the right track.
Learn how to separate your wants and needs, from your child’s. They are not here to take care of you, or to fulfill your wants. They are here to flourish, and become awesome productive people who contribute something positive to this world. They can’t do that if we hold them back. We must learn a new consciousness in parenting, and in doing so, we will raise a whole new generation of strong, amazing leaders, Who know what they want, and know how to get it. They will be able to express themselves, in a healthy manner, and it will help get rid of their egos we’ve just helped create.
Your kids need you to be real with them. Sometimes I tell my daughter, I’m sorry, I’m not very good at that, but I’m going to work on it. I then, even share a part of my childhood with her, so she can see where it comes from. She likes this, when I am transparent with her. She will ask me many questions, and it’s a time when we are completely present. Read some books that can help you be a better parent. Take the time to learn about what they want, versus what you want, and see if you can come up with a better plan.
Your kids are here to teach you a lesson, even though, you think you you’re the one doing all of the teaching. Become aware, become enlightened, become the best version of a parent, and watch your children flourish.
If you feel a strong emotion attached to your response to your child, stop and figure out why it’s there. It’s your ego kicking in, learn that parents. I’m not asking you to ignore it, I’m asking you explore it!