Has it ever crossed your mind that we can try to live our children’s life for them, passing on our prejudices and fears. Fear drives our behaviour at times and we see our children as another trophy and not a person with feeling, ideas and opinions.
Is it wrong to want to offer your children the things you once wanted and, perhaps didn’t have?
Of course not. As long as they want those things too.
If your wishes, wants and dreams begin to crowd out those of your children, you may have a problem. This type of vicarious living, in which your children may never get to develop their own interests or grow into their own people, is not what being a parent is all about.
Just let our children be children
Allowing you child to be himself or herself means being able to let them demonstrate individuality. There is something within us that stops that from happening, Society places lots of pressure seen and unseen on children to perform, and we allow our children’s performance to reflect on us as parents.
We can build a fortress around our personality. This stops us from seeing ourselves when we actively deconstruct our children’s dreams and goals, that fort that we build is expensive, so it remains, guarding you with the old values, beliefs, and expectations that you assigned to that part of you a long time ago.
The cost of being free
Does the sense of “I” in our children’s life need to be defended? Let me share what I think. The true self within us does not need to be defended. It just needs to be expressed. However, when we fail to let our children express the true self true dreams, aspiration and goals, we can create many problems.
Our world so often places over us a blanket of overcast skies filled with the chronic expectations as children that so often we compromise our true self to take on one role or another, forever shape-shifting in an endless disguise that fools all but ourselves.
The cost of teaching your child to be free is hefty. It requires you to respond to the inward child within them crying to be able to take off the disguise. In the face of failure it requires you to allow your child to be their true self, no matter what others have to say about it.
Are you living vicariously through your children do you?:
* Talk more about their activities than they do.
* Are more emotionally invested in their activities than they are (did you cry when your daughter lost at the science fair, while she just brushed it off?)
* Constantly give your child instruction and critiques of their activities and life.
* Feel your status or self-esteem rides on your child’s achievements. Say “we” to describe your child’s life (“We need to practice more so next time we’ll win.”)
Happiness is a gift that is waiting for us as parent as soon as we embrace our true self in our children. It is up to us to stop pushing the true self under in our children, to stop criticising and undervaluing it.
* Dr. Adrian Daisley is a Certified Life Coach, Stress Manager and Certified Fitness Chef