Once we give birth, we see kids as a trophy. A sign of our accomplishment. And we struggle to save them from the bad and the unconventional.
But why is it that we do that? Is it because we’re trying to guide them on the right track? Whose right track? Theirs? Or pushing them to follow a pattern? Or are we trying to pursue them to follow a path we, ourselves, were too afraid of taking or did not succeed on?
These are questions I always ask myself, in the process of raising them. Just see it like this… Once they grow up, are they really only ours? Or should we let them fly and understand that they belong to themselves, first, and to the vast world as well?
So instead of making them follow what society wants, why can’t we guide them to see and go for what THEY want?
Yes, is a hard task. But we can do it if we want to. This will bring them closer to us (paradoxically, right?). Because they will understand how much we trust them and how much we want them to follow their own dreams. And see the freedom we provide, instead of keeping them glued to our lives.
I hear the “they’re too young for this” formula so often! But let me burst your bubble: that’s wrong! The sooner you leave choice to their hands, the sooner they learn how to handle it and take charge of consequences. Plus, remember that life is no pink unicorn …😉 (This way of raising my kids may be subject of controversy, but this is solely my view about teaching them how to use their brains.)
Going even further, this is what I do…
While I keep myself anchored in the now, I prepare myself to let them go. As soon as they’re ready. But this is another aspect. How do we know when they are ready? We don’t. They do!
So, I’ll grant them the space they need and make sure their wings spread, in a continuous effort of soaring, as unconventionally as they may feel.
In the same time, I hope I’ll be capable of providing good advice (we never know what’s the best, afterall) and support their genuineness.
Becoming aware of the fact that we will never be able to save them from deceit or prevent from making mistakes may adjust a bit our perspective over their future and the term “liberty”.
Short example: my kids want spinners, yet something holds me back from granting this wish. My explanation to them (I always make sure I explain why) was “I don’t agree or approve you using them, as they damage this and that. If you want using it to affect this and that, I’ll be ok with buying you one“. Their answer? “No“
So, I go like this:
For our kids’ sake, we should educate ourselves first. To let them be. Offer them the information they need to find themselves and, eventually, let them fly…
Freelance writer & editor | Storyteller | Interviewer | Published author | Co-Founder of afsyn.com | Podcast host & producer