Okay, so this is one of the hardest things I have done as a parent, but my children absolutely love me for it. I do my best not to interfere with their choices and especially their relationships. Do I always approve? No. Do I always agree? No. Do I always love them? Yes!
I Only Want What Is Best For You
How often did we hear that from our parents? How often have we said it to our children? It is one of the truest statements any parent ever says to their child. Of course it is often when trying to impose our will on a child.
Here are the questions we should be asking ourselves. Whose life is it? Are we trying to impose our wishes, dreams, goals and regrets on our children? Are we being unrealistic? Are our prejudices showing? I often remind myself that it is not my life. It is the life of the child and they are separate and different from me.
This is difficult for many parents. We look at the child standing in front of us and see this:
The reality is more like this: Sometimes we have been so involved in our child’s life that we don’t realize they have grown and it is time to let go.
We just want to keep them safe. We want them to succeed. We want them to be happy. Sometimes we want it for them so badly we do stupid things. Then we wonder why our children don’t understand or why are they angry at us. We are only trying to help.
We have spent their entire life trying to teach them to be responsible, to make educated decisions, to weigh the consequences of their actions. So why do we have such a hard time trusting them? Did we let them practice those things? I hope so. I know that I tried, though not always successfully.
Now that most of my children are adults, they have expressed appreciation that I have not forced my vision of their life on them. They have expressed gratitude for my willingness to let them pursue their own lives and also that they know that I am here if any of them need me.
Someone once said that having children was like having your heart walk around outside of your body. I would add, outside of your control. When they hurt, we hurt. When they are sad, we are sad. But we have to remember that they are not us. They are them and it is their life. They should be allowed to live it.