Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trusting the Process

For those of you who have read my Balanced Parenting Newsletter, you know what this is going to be about. As a parent, it is very challenging for me to resist the temptation to control things, especially my kids. The older I get and the older they get, the more I'm learning that I really have no control over them, nor should I.

Yes, I should maintain control of the authority in our home, along with my husband. That's how we help our kids feel safe knowing that we are taking care of the important things. But controlling my kids' behavior, that's a whole other topic.

I won't be able to follow them around all of their lives telling them what they "should" or "shouldn't" do. They have to figure it out for themselves and I have to remember that their behavior is NOT a reflection of me, nor is it a measurement of my parenting ability. My kids are their own people - people I adore, by the way - and they should make their own decisions. I won't always agree with them, but I must honor them and trust that, in the end, they are making the right choices for themselves in the long run.

When our kids are little, it may mean letting go of caring if our kids' socks match. As they get older, we may need to sit back and watch as our child befriends a kid we don't care for much. Ultimately, (as I'm learning currently) we can't choose our kids' colleges for them. They have to live with their choices, so they have to make the choices themselves. (Yes, I'm keeping my mouth shut as much as possible - and it's so hard!)

Let me know how you have quieted yourself and allowed your kids the space to do the right thing. Did they step up? How was it for you?

Looking forward to hearing from you and wishing you balance,



Terry Gibson said...

I thought I left my comment, but alas, not so. I said I don't know what happened. I trusted my kids, they grew up, got married, had the most WONDERFUL grandchildren I could ask for and the best part of it all was they married people I love. Love ya, your one and only mother-in-law

devinburgess said...

I am getting out of the way and letting my 3 1/2 year dress herself. She likes to feel "fancy" and this means layer upon layer of colorful mismatched clothes that draw lots of comments and attention wherever we go. My husband thinks I should step in and tell her she needs to dress a little more understated. But she tells me she feels better in all her colors and layers, so I am just tuning everyone out and letting my Zoe do her own thing!

Daria said...

My daughter struggles with adjusting to the social stuff in kindergarten, like feeling left out when her favorite buddy plays with another girl. While I express sympathy that she feels bad (I remember the feeling well), I also give her some advice, although not too much, but of course my first instinct is to step in and "fix" it for her (talk to the other girl). It's soooo hard to see her upset and crying about it! But, ultimately I know it's a huge part of being in school and learning to work it out on her own is important for her confidence.