Let Them Be

As a mother my main wish for my children is that they grow up to absolutely love who they are. I want them to feel powerful, confident and have bags of empathy. I want them to always be kind. I have started to worry that all my ‘wants’ for my children might be pushing them into people that maybe they don’t want to be. When does teaching your children stop and brainwashing them begin.

I feel that I am constantly managing their expectations. ‘You cant be good at everything darling’ seems to be said on a daily basis. Yet recently I’ve had to stop myself saying some of the things that have crossed my mind. I am ever conscious that what I say and the way I act will have a profound effect on my children. Maybe not today but at some point they will either mimic me or rebel against me.

It goes without saying that I love and will always love my children whoever they grow up to be, but I find myself looking at some of their personality traits and wanting to change them. I cant decide if thats incredibly poor parenting or just the opposite.

For example, Harbor is very gentle and often tells me he has been pushed around a little bit or been made to feel sad by other children. He is very sociable and has lots of friends but he is just so sensitive. I have had many chats with him about not tolerating other children’s behaviour. Yet recently I’ve sat back and thought am I doing the wrong thing? Is it better for him to learn how to deal with situations in his own way, as a reflection of his own personality rather than mine (which tends to be a push them back personality.)

Is it such a bad thing to learn that some people are just unkind without any rhythm or reason for it. Children naturally always look for the ‘whys’ and sometimes there just aren’t the answers.  I didn’t experience any bullying until high school. (Im not suggesting Harbor is being bullied as that is something children shouldn’t be left to handle by themselves) I was bullied for my voice. Being high and squeaky gave everyone the permission to be an impressionist. It made my head hang a little lower and it crushed some of the more extrovert parts of my personality. Luckily for me college brought all that back out in me. I didn’t really tell anyone about it or how it made me feel and I know that the cruelest of moments have definitely shaped me in a positive way.

If I see a child being mean I always think its down to parenting and then I have to shake myself out of thinking these things. I don’t know if you can always blame the parents. Its the whole nature and nurture debate. Are we born to be a certain way or are we brought up to be a certain way?

Im planning on just going a little easier on the advice, maybe taking a step back and asking what he feels is the right thing to do before giving him my thoughts. I never wanted to be a dictating parent but its so easy to turn into one. Not everything has a right and a wrong and not everything needs to be learnt and understood by the age of five. just because I think its the right way to act or feel doesn’t mean it is.

Cara

 

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7 Comments

  1. Amy
    February 9, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    Sounds like the right way to go about these things… it’s such a hard job and we are all learning along the way and doing our best. Your phrase ‘when does teaching turn into brainwashing’ is such a thought provoking question! Love reading your blogs & your style is gorgeous! X

    • Cara
      February 9, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Ah thank you! I’m always questioning how I go about things! I just want them to be happy!

  2. Vikki
    February 9, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    I like the idea of asking them how to deal with a situation first, I will definitely try that. I feel it’s more important to listen to our children sometimes and feel satisfied that they feel they can confide in us.xx

    • Cara
      February 9, 2017 / 9:32 pm

      Sometimes I just need to step back and look at how I’m going about things! So I need to do
      More of this too!

  3. MamaB
    February 9, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    My 3 year old boy is also quite a quiet, gentle soul, and I sometimes find myself apologising for it or acting like it is a failing when it is just his personality and doesn’t seem to bother him! I like to think it comes from a place of not wanting him to get hurt (physically or not emotionally) and I have also tried to encourage him to stick up for himself a bit more. Perhaps I worry about it more because I’m very outgoing but there are many great qualities which come along with a more retiring personality which I see in him, and in my husband whom he is very like. Reading this has really given me a nudge to stop apologising for who he is and to give him the space to sort out his place in the world (so long as he is safe, obviously!). Thanks for this, Cara x

    • Cara
      February 9, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Aw thank you! You’ve worded that beautifully. I definitely like the idea of them finding their place in this world too x

  4. Rachel
    February 10, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    A brilliant, thought-provoking post. As a mother of two boys myself I find that I am constantly giving what I think to be guidance, but maybe is me dictating how they should handle a situation. My eldest is very sensitive and prefers to walk away, whilst my youngest is right there in the thick of things! I worry that I’m so obsessed with teaching them to ‘do the right thing’ that I get sick of the sound of my own voice!

    Think I’ll be following your tip of asking what they think in future. You never know – they might surprise us!

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