|Posted by Christopher Jacob on March 30, 2011 at 7:09 AM|
Raising children is not an easy task.
Take it from a trial and error parent who applies the "hit & miss" principle.
People who take initiative into putting full effort parenting their kids should be commended for doing so. It is not every day that you encounter (corporate & individual) professionals who take the responsibility "parental guidance" seriously.
As adults, we normally forget that children need a lot of space - even more than we can imagine. Their capabilities are usually taken for granted. We as parents see them as fragile, dependent and frail. However, as we grow older with our children, our learning curve and understanding of them tells us that with limited space - comes limited responsibility and for us better control. The bigger the area of responsibility - the harder it is to make the situation in our favor - thus having to force the issue more often than not. Because we are afraid that our circle of influence might not be sufficient for them to move on with their tiny little lives, we sometimes choke them for their own good.
But for some strange reason, our children just don't get that – (well we didn't when we were at their age anyways), we know that if you try to stand too close to the fire, you will get eventually burned but still does it anyways. It is to their belief that one lesson is enough for them and they can go about doing their own "thing" at their convenience and pace.
As much as we want to keep our children safe and keep them from harm's way, we as parents will hate to admit that the best lesson comes from experience - that of both ours & theirs. Therefore protecting our children's interests, environment and conditions will not be an assurance that they will live a life that we so dream and imagine. Do you remember trying as bit hard as you can to make your house child proof? It is never too much to be safe, we as parents know that - but no matter how hard we try to explain the consequences of such action, we are left at the end of the day with a persistent statement – (of which they truly hate), the "I Told You So Speech"
It pains us to see our children go thru the same mistakes as what we have undergone, yet sometimes we ask ourselves, experience will truly make you wise, so we let them be. Watching from a distance, taking in strides and waiting if you should extend your hand, or grab theirs instead?
When I was at the age of adolescence, our family doctor would come by and repeatedly say "that prevention is better than cure" - I guess he is a smart man - probably one of the reasons why he became a doctor.
Why try correcting if we can better prevent things from happening in the first place? Our parents have warned us about these things happening over and over again, and we knew they have always been right in saying so - but as stubborn as we know we think we are, we still do it anyways. They rant about "how you not understanding the situation, and wait till you become parents yourselves and you will find out what it means?"
Now as parents - why do we end up saying the same thing to our children; Déjà vu?
Everybody knows that one has to learn how to walk before they can actually run. Our kids grow up very fast - without us really knowing it sometimes, we just find out that they have learned how to do things without you knowing about it. And this scares the jitters out of us that we have been taken out of the equation. While everything was done through you - now you seldom know what was done in the first place. Teaching our children not to rush into things only makes them more aggressive into doing it. Their eagerness into trying to do all things at the same time frightens us that failure might bring their self esteem down to an abyss.
Whatever our intentions are to begin with, there is no strafing pass this.
What do you think are the limits of our responsibilities as parents? In this so called cycle of life, we know that we are here in this lifetime for a reason; to be able to provide support to our kids is one thing for sure - because they are a reflection of who we are.
All I know is that our children requires the necessary affection and nurturing they truly deserve. They do not essentially have to follow the same flight pattern as you have – however, guiding them in the runway of life will make their wings stronger to withstand any incoming resistance while trying to run, glide and eventually take flight. The strong values we embed in them will make them better individuals when trials come their way.
When we go and try to point them in a certain direction, it does not necessarily have to be the right one. Sometimes in order for you to go left - you have to turn right (otherwise known as competitive steering, from the movie Cars by Pixar!)
Will you bend your own rules to accommodate their unnecessary wanting? I have come to several crossroads and practiced different solutions with my kids. One thing is for sure, there is no 1 true solution that will solve different equations - there are too many variables, as always.
Is there such a thing as excessive nurturing?
Will you pamper your child with too much safety nets so that they will not get hurt in the process? Or too much protection will make them weak and naive when they grow older? Will you push hard enough for them to hate you but survive the onslaught of adulthood instead?
What will be your trade off in this regard?