Monday, September 19, 2011

Finding compassion in parenting....

At what point in your relationship with your child do you think you'll let go?

Why am I asking this?

Well, I've noticed that some parents are completely obsessed with controling their children's every move.  To the point where most children still live at home at 30 and most parents are complaining about that!

For me, wanting to control the lives of my children began very early.  Like pre-birth early.

My children were all very late coming into this world.  Their late arrivals prompted induction.  Many, many, many inductions.  In fact, it took my middle son 3 days of inductions to decide to arrive (he's also the one that doesn't comprehend the idea of curfews or the meaning of the word 'now').

I kind of always had this visual of each of them holding on for dear lives inside my womb, screaming "No, no, no I won't leave the comfort of this place to go out into that hellish world!"

*cough*  Anyway....

Not long ago my husband and I were discussing the fact that our oldest son had no desire to find himself a job.  I had made the comment that maybe he just wasn't ready for a job, maybe he had maturing to do and no matter how much anger, frustration and nagging we put into our pleas for him to find a job, he wasn't going to magically become ready.

This comment reminded me of the boys 'late arrivals' and that thought brought me to this blog post.

The idea that we can control, manipulate and rush our children into the people we want them to be, is absurd.  Tell me; has there been anything in your life you have been able to successfully rush, manipulate and control?  Notice I said 'successfully'. 

Controlling them to the point where they are living the lives we want them to live is absolutely ridiculous.  And didn't work for parents of earlier generations either. 

The truth is we cannot control our kids.  And when we try to control them all we get is stress, tension, frustration, etc., etc., etc.

Our kids (believe it or not) have their own life purposes, they have souls and personal journeys to accomplish and experience.  Not unlike ourselves (wink).

This isn't a new phenomenon.  Parents have been trying to control the outcome of their children's lives for a gazillion years!  Maybe even more!  It's time to stop parenting the way the cave men did.  It's time we parents put a new spin on things.

So, how do we stop, look and listen to our kids?  How do we begin to allow ourselves to loosen the death grip and let our kids go and grow and still maintain our sanity? 

Personally, I find it helpful to remind myself of the anxiety of adolescence that I felt myself as a young girl (and back then we didn't have all this online social media shit to deal with, just good old fashioned face to face).  I remind myself of my own uncertainty even now as an adult trying to make her way through life.

If you want to connect on a deeper level with your child, if you want to build a great relationship where they actually come to you to talk about their challenges and fears you need to do one thing and one thing only.

Remind yourself of what it is like to be a child, an adolescent or a teen in a world so big, so scary and so intimidating.  Just remind yourself.  The remembering is where compassion lives and our children need our compassion not our control.

1 comment:

  1. I have a funny feeling that this may be easier for step-parents. There's a certain type of connection, that no matter how much we love our step-children, that we will never have with them.


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