This was one of my first posts. It is always interesting to revisit what you have previously written. I may write a little differently now but I thought this was one to revisit and bring back to light.
It was only the other day that a couple came to me asking me how they help their son gain direction and stability. How do they give him the empowerment to commit to decisions and decide what he wants for his future? What should they be doing differently to help him on his personal discovery? I sit and wonder what are the best tools, strategies and advice we can give our children for them to be the best person they can be in the future – and now.
We often talk about “unconditional love” and the notion of loving our children no matter what – through their upheavals, mistakes, trials and tribulations – dare I use the common cliche. But what is this unconditional love that we so regularly talk about and speak of within our everyday language?
I mean of course there are going to be times when we disapprove of certain actions and decisions our children may make, and disapprove of possible choices. Of course we will always still love them, that goes without saying, but although you may disapprove, what message do they hear? Do they only hear the disappointment? Or do they rather hear, “yes, I may be disappointed, but it does not make you less of a person and does not make me love you less and value you less in any way. You are still a valuable and worthy human being.”
Our children need to know when they have disappointed people in their life, after all, we all need the life lessons of how to cope with disappointment and having disappointed someone else. They need to know what is accepted, valued and what boundaries are in place in certain places. However, as parents we need to let our children make mistakes, fall over, and suffer the consequences. But in falling over, we need to make sure they know we are still there for them, value them, think they are worthy and love them. We need to encourage them to take responsibility while being their anchor in time of need.
I can’t help but wonder what our children’s decisions and actions mean for us personally and what it brings out in us? Maybe we need to reflect on our own anxieties and questions and look within ourselves for the answers. Maybe our questions are about ourselves and personal experiences, values and past upheavals as opposed to our children’s burden?
In helping our children step into life maybe we too need some skills and empowerment to work through our own baggage?
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