I’ve always believed that parents are not for leaning upon, but rather exist to make leaning unneccessary’Dr Wayne Dyer
That is my 16 year old Son, jumping out of a plane during his Mid GCSEs break from school. He could have been revising, but he jumped out of a plane instead. This has got me thinking about my parenting style and how, in all honesty, I think I have the balance pretty good.
This morning, whilst on my dog walk, I was listening to Dr Wayne Dyer’s Book, ‘Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life’ in which he breaks down the ‘Tao Te Ching’, a philosophical work written by Lao Tzu some 2500 yrs ago.
Today’s chapter was about leadership and how to guide in a way that the followers/students do not even realise they are being guided/taught.
And the quote above resonated with me so deeply that I felt compelled to write about here.
Parenthood, is the most challenging, heart breaking, joyful, thrilling ride we will get to experience as humans. Each chapter of your child’s life will bring with it a new version of you, as you navigate unexperienced emotions and feelings.
And through much of these chapters, you do have to guide, as Lao Tzu says ‘without them knowing’. The day your child makes a wise decision wouthout you having to say a word, take a bow – but I race on, let me slow down a little.
My son left school just 10 days ago to embark on study leave. And with that came a closure to a huge chapter of his life. Since then, I have spent many moments in contemplation, remembering and loving the past 12 years of his school life.
And even though it has been a rollercoaster of a ride, now that we look back, we only look back with positivity.
I am no expert parent, but here are things that I have experienced and witnessed.
Some days are memorable for all the right reasons, and others for less up lifting reasons. But regardless of all of this, EVERY SINGLE DAY is part of the puzzle. And without all the pieces, the school journey would not be complete. So yes there were days when I was bursting with pride and tears in my ears for him, and then there were the days I was at the school either defending or apologising for him.
But ultimately the most important days were the ones in between. The days that seemed to pass without incident. The days when he was quietly making his own wise decisions without any input or praise from me. Days that he lived, without having to be witnessed, but learning his own social skills, and trusting to live by his own wisdom – they were the most numerable, most valuable and (now I see) the best days.
Your child may well have opportunities that you didn’t have, but that does not mean they HAVE to make use of them. They are living their own experience, not your lost dreams.
Yes, hindsight and the wisdom that our years give us is precious and valuable, and we can offer advice and encouragement. But be sure that the advice and encouragement comes from knowing what is best for them – not your lost dreams and ambitions.
No child should have to follow a career based on what their parents wanted to do.
The wonderful uniqueness and individuality of everyone on the planet is fascinating, so expecting a child or young adult to do something because another child does, is short sighted and unfair. Teenagers have a habit of looking and dressing the same as they find their tribe and break away from the family bond. This is completely normal and should be celebrated. It is them learning to not lean on you – which means you have done your job.
However they are still very individual, both in personality and academically. So allow them to be their own person. If, like my son, they are not going to hit the books for hours a day, forcing that situation could result in more harm. Find a balance that works for your child and enourage that. Not all children are cut out of the cookie cutter that many schools expect.
Model the way, lead by example. Look after yourself and let your children see you supporting, listening and giving them the space they require. They will come to you if they need you.
Being a present parent does not mean being there continually, but rather knowing and trusting your child to grow at their own pace and be there when they need you. And before you know it, they are leaving school, have made their own decicions about what comes next, and are bold enough to jump out of a plane.
Deep breath and hold on – its a wild ride.
I am an Actress, Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Children’s Yoga Teacher and Mama. As the founder of the Train Children in Mindfulness course, I empower parents, teachers and any care giver to share mindfulness with children and teenagers.
My passion is ensuring that women are able to practice their self-care and enjoy their spiritual journey. My You Tube Channel provides masses of guidance and classes.
Enjoy my signature online course The Divine Goddess Yoga Program. This enables women all over the world to make quick transformational changes to their life.
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