Our children grow up seeking our approval, pleasing Mum or Dad looking to know they have done something right. They look at you with those enthusiastic eyes and do things with such eager intent it is heart warming.
You can do no wrong in their eyes, a hug from Mama, a smile and well done, went so far and gave them the encouragement to explore more ways of pleasing you. They were adventurous, making things for you, drawing pictures that they took such pride in and putting on plays to act out for you. It was wonderful and I still have a lot of my children’s art from that time. They were innocent loving creatures of a pure heart.
Then they hit the teenage years, and now you can’t to anything right and the last thing they want to do is please YOU. Now all you do is get in their way, stop them from living their dreams by dampening their spirit, or so they think and totally believe. They are caught up in the transition of becoming an adult and while hurrying to be older they are also resisting leaving childhood. Conflicts galore.
Then they are young adults, working, living, arguing and pointing out how everything wrong it the world was our doing, and they will do it so much better than us. After all, they are young so must know everything right? Little do they know and until they grow older sampling the wares of life, do they understand just how hard life really is. All those ideals are not so clear anymore because reality has set in and now faced with the truth, they understand just how hard it is to change a systematic pattern that has been around a very long time.
The party days grow fewer, the workload heavier, another person to care for or maybe even more, life has suddenly hit them in the head and now they too are caught in the cycle of life. Do they see their parents differently then? Sometimes, and so many times not. Depending on how you have brought up your children, opening the minds to the world, showing them the diversity, or not, is the way they will interact and connect with anything and everyone. The more they traveled, explored learned about other cultures, they more their minds hearts and souls opened. But if they did not, all they have to draw from is the little world they came from.
If you as a parent have traveled even lived in others countries you will bring a certain influence to their world, but they are still governed by the limitations of theirs. So, encouraging your children to travel and open up their minds is so very beneficial to their lives. I was lucky to have lived in 3 countries already when I had my children and had traveled a lot. I made sure we took our kids traveling, not as much as I would have liked but some, so they could be open to other ways of cultures. I encouraged an open dialogue at the dinner table, asking those questions to learn from. I encouraged them to travel on their own, even if it was a bit nerve racking for me as a parent as I understood the lifelong benefits from it.
I was lucky to have lived in 3 countries already when I had my children and had traveled a lot. I made sure we took our kids traveling, not as much as I would have liked but some, so they could be open to other cultures ways. I encouraged an open dialogue at the dinner table, asking those questions to learn from, open their wonderment to the world and embracing that is different, encourage the questions and don’t be afraid to answer them. I encouraged them to travel on their own, even if it was a bit nerve racking for me as a parent as I understood the lifelong benefits from it, opening up to all that is life.
I was hoping that with their world perspective they would understand mine, but alas, not. My children still see me as just Mum, not the world traveler I was, not the wisdom I have gained, not the insight I have, but still just Mum. How do we open their minds to see you for who you are not just someone who birthed them or raised them? How do they see you as a person in your own right? How do you show them who you are and what you stand for? YOU HAVE TO GO OUT AND LIVE FOR YOURSELF.
Living for you, embracing you, owning you, empowering you will show them who you are. They may not like seeing you as a person and not just their Mum or DAD, BUT, this is your life and living for you, does not mean you don’t love them any less, but only that you are here to do more with your life.
They like to know their parents are there for them, secure stable and with always an open door. They like to know that we are there for them any time no matter what. As parents, we try to be, we want to be interactive in their lives, we want a connection with our children, but we also want our children to see us as adults who have already wanted the path that they are on. We may have more dreams ourselves, more to do in life, more directions to take and most certainly embrace the changes before us. We are not over yet, we still have so much more to do, just like them.
Many a parent has lost the connection with their child because the child would not accept who they are outside of being a parent, this is on them, their choice that they must own, we cannot take it on. We strive through life to find and live in an authentic identity, we strive to find a meaningful purpose, we strive to learn to love ourselves and we seek to love life and live it to its fullest. This is the journey of life that all of us in some way, are journeying.
I am not the same person I was when I raised my children, I am not that woman who only lived for her kids, I am still a loving Mother who loves her children, that will never change, but I am also now a woman who has a life of her own life. My children will ALWAYS be so very important to me, their wellbeing, their soul fulfillment their joy in their heart, and the growth of their purpose is what I long for. I suppose there comes a time where you have to stop being a parent to them and invite them to see you as a person in your own right. Do you stop being a parent? NEVER for that is built into our very DNA, but it does mean we go and live our lives for ourselves, making us a happier person that can bring to the children’s table our strength our love and our knowledge.
They like to know their parents are there for them, secure stable and with always an open door. They like to know that we are there for them any time no matter what. As parents, we try to be, we want to be interactive in their lives, we want a connection with our children, but we also want our children to see us as adults who have already walked the path that they are on. We may have more dreams ourselves, more to do in life, more directions to take and most certainly embrace the many changes before us. We are not over yet, we still have so much more to do, just like them.
So, although you will always be the parent, do not forget to be the person you are. Man, or Woman who also is a Dad and a Mama, do not lose your identity, do not sacrifice yourself just so a child will love you, for is they really love YOU, they will love the whole of you and realize what an asset you are to their lives.
To all you parent’s out there facing this crossroads, hold on to your inner strength, stand tall in your being, and invite them to see you in all your glorious light, for it is that light that shines the way for them.
Always a Loving parent
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