Ok, so maybe I’m not the one with the best parenting advice. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. On the other hand, I’m admitting something that A LOT of parents wouldn’t dare. Sure, we all do the best we can and the best we know how, but what I’ve come to realize is that there’s just no ‘right way’. There is, however, the wrong way.
We get these creatures, with no manual and no instructions. They’re all so unique and different. How in the world can there be the right way? Or the only way? And almost every ‘right way’ has its cons. If you compliment them too much, they’ll be arrogant and lazy. If you don’t, they’ll be insecure and afraid. This goes pretty much for everything. So how do you create balance and where do you draw the line?
They’re expected to perform as soon as they’re born. Every development has to be bigger, faster, better. They have to learn everything fast and yesterday is not soon enough. They have to behave and shut up. They’re expected to act, think, feel, talk, behave and be how society wants them to. Don’t question authority, follow the rules, do what you’re told and become this robot we all are.
Children are the closest to the source. They’re more awake than we are. They know that this society we live in just won’t cut it. They protest and they challenge us to change the game. I don’t think today’s kids are bad. It’s parents who try to relive their lives through their kids. They push them to fight the battles they lost. They let them compete and measure their worth by accomplishments. They go to school, play sports, have trainings, dance, play an instrument, swim… because, if you want to be accepted and feel worthy, you have to do it all and know it all. Let people see how involved of a parent I am and let my kids show off their prizes, cups, medals and reports. Failure is not an option and second best is just not good enough. We’re killing them with stress and pressure, so we can feel proud and have a sense of accomplishment. Of course we created depressed monsters! Of course the boys are on drugs and the girls prostitute themselves for a little bit of attention by the time they’re 14.
I hear people nagging all the time: “Oh these kids today! This youth is impossible!” Really? Like they’re all these monsters that we need to get under control. But it’s us. It’s us that need to get ourselves under control. It’s our uncontrollable ego that holds our kids responsible for our happiness. They become the reason for our existence and that’s an unfair burden for them to carry. It should never ever be our intention to turn them into some version of ourselves we wish we could be. They already know who they are and don’t need us to define them. We are merely there to help them become the best they can be, by being the best we can be.
Let them play, let them breathe, let them ask and question and debate and feel and grow! Let them speak their minds and make mistakes. Let them learn how to cope with emotions and other people and themselves. Let them learn how to be happy, compassionate and kind. Let them learn how to love and support and appreciate. Don’t push your fears upon them. Those are your own doubts and insecurities and past experiences and everything you think it’s wrong with the world. What’s really wrong with the world are fake standards and wrong priorities. It’s how we define beauty, happiness and success. We have to redefine these things and demonstrate the good and the positive and the happy. Teach them to be good people, because that’s the only thing worth any pride. Just be the best example you can be and for God’s sake, let them be who they are. They’ll be just fine!
Have a great week!