“It’s much better to be their partner than their roadblock. If you become an obstacle they’ll find a way around you. Is that what you want for your relationship with your kids?”
—Joyce Fetteroll

If your child is more important than your vision of your child, life becomes easier.
—Sandra Dodd
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
—Joseph Campbell
This life I’m living surprises me — daily.
All three of the above quotes touch me, inform me and remind me to let go of my own ideas, prejudices and arrogance.
Here, a few more months until my eldest child becomes a teen, I am reminded of how little I knew, understood or anticipated about being a parent before becoming one. I am reminded of those early years, with just one child, over which I hovered and about which I was quite neurotic.
Now, 12+ years into parenting I am much less neurotic, much more at peace.
I (mostly) trust my focus of providing these children with a chance to be children. I hope and believe that living their early years in love and security is foundational to them choosing well later. I believe that an ongoing connection and mutual respect between children and their parents can help them when life becomes more challenging or scary.
When I am out and about and can observe other parents of very young children, I feel their worry about doing everything ‘right’ and their fear of what might happen if they don’t. I want to gather them up and tell them that they can relax. I want to offer them these words of experience:
‘just love them — stay connected to them — accept who they are and what they are — do not become their most consistent roadblock — show yourself to be their biggest fan and most loyal partner and it will all work out ok.’
Seriously. It will.
It doesn’t honestly matter all that much whether they eat all the right veggies; or watch ‘too much’ tv; or play computer games; or refuse to wear underwear; or not want to leave the house for weeks on end; or not take a gymnastics class or…..whatever.
Children are, at their heart (and bless them for it!) quirky little beasts.
They are who they are and we parents have the privilege of knowing them best of all.
We will never have such a unspoiled, unhindered, completely natural view of what it is to be perfectly human as we will with our own children.
If we mold them too much, control them too much, then we’ve lost this window and we’ve potentially altered who they were born to be.
But if we support and nurture and gently guide (where truly needed) and watch with open, wonder-filled eyes….we will absolutely and truly be amazed.
We will be humbled. Daily.
We will be informed and enlightened and taught. Daily.
Let go of who you think your child should be and they will blow. you. away.
But let go of your preconceptions of how to parent and you can go along for the ride. 😀