being yourself, control, express feelings, goals, inspire, letting kids be themselves, listening, parents, passion, sense of security
Being open, that’s the thing. That’s the thing I just wish all the parents of the world could be. Today I heard a high school senior explain that her parents had no interest or understanding in the things she was attracted to as she was growing up, but they were excited about learning with her. She said they were open to the idea that opera and history, her interests not theirs, might be worth exploring. She felt few expectations on her to be or do anything in particular, but at the same time her folks wanted her to bring them along on her discoveries so they could be there to help her make the most of them.
This is wonderful to me, and really, this young lady seems pretty comfortable in her own skin, just what I dream of for all kids. To be able to grow as they will with adults nearby supporting them in the things they love.
Maybe you have to have your own sense of security not to be threatened by your child being their own person.
Interesting as always – particularly that last thought. I think that no matter what stage of life one is experiencing, we often derive something akin to ‘security’ from the roles we have taken on and to which we’ve become accustomed. In order to support our kids’ healthy development, these roles need to be somewhat flexible and adaptable, wouldn’t you agree? But this adaptability seems to be a difficult matter for parents, because over time we can get SO attached to our roles that our identity can become intricately entwined with the roles. Hence, role threatened, alarm bells about insecurity can go off – danger, danger! This process is probably unavoidable to some extent with most parents, but in my opinion it’s great ‘grist for the mill’ to bring kids and parents even closer. Specifically, I’m thinking of how discussing with our kids what our roles seem to be, and what they mean to us, can make us more ‘real’ as human beings (not just the roles we play) to our kids. And the modeling is priceless. If a kid (of whatever age) can experience reflecting on roles with a loving parent, he/she will potentially be able to bring such a process to other relationships, and hence (again!) she/he can feel ever more free to be her/his own person. Terrific food for thought – thanks!
I love these ideas!. Thanks for reminding me about being so deliberate. I would not otherwise consider talking about my role as a parent with my kids. Nice idea.