One of the most common phrases nearly every parent tells their children time and time again is, “I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made.” The next most common one would be, “do as I say, not as I do.” My own mother was famous for, “if your friends want to jump off a bridge, you wanna do it too?” My reply as always, “well, if it was fun, yeah!” Well, kids are still kids, parents are still parents and even though so many things have changed; so many things are still the same.
My mother took me to a public swimming pool when I was little and I wanted to go to the “deep end.” Mom wouldn’t let me go further than the three foot part but the first chance I got, you know where I went…….. straight to the deep end! Mom nearly had a heart attack but I learned how to swim, no one taught me, it was something that I wanted to do. I may not be a competitive pro swimmer but if I was in the middle of the ocean, I could float!
The point is, don’t make your children walk the path you have chosen. You probably didn’t follow in the foot steps of your parents and you’re children probably will go their own way as well, don’t make it hard on them. Support your children, just because you don’t like it or you don’t agree with it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. That can be the hardest thing for a parent to do, to step back and let their child go off on their own.
You may as well prepare your child for the journeys ahead of them, give them love, encouragement, solid advice, pass on your morals, your values because in the end all a parent can hope for is that they did a good job with their child. Don’t preach to them, don’t tell them that their ideas are crazy or odd. I’m sure the first person to create a round shaped wheel faced a lot of opposition! Become interested in your child’s interests instead only trying to bombard them with yours. My father really hated to play board games but he loved to play them with me and I didn’t like country music but I would listen to it with my father. Not once did my father ever tell me I couldn’t do anything that I wanted to do though.
I feel blessed that I had such support from my parents but realize that many young people don’t. When you’re child does something you think is, off the wall! Remember, once you were young too. Not every idea you had flopped, surely you succeeded at something your own parents didn’t necessarily approve of. Don’t worry about what your child will be when they grow up, enjoy the time with them now and let them grow up, to be the person, you know they are capable of being.
“The Road Not Taken”-Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.