Being a parent is something that almost takes you by surprise. One minute, you’re a carefree adult, willing and able to whatever you want in life, and the next you’ve got a bundle of love swaddled in a blanket. You have to take a moment to breathe in that moment. To experience it.
How do they go from that innocent newborn to a teenager in what seems like a blink of an eye? Have you taught them all that you wanted to bestow upon them? I’m facing that dilemma as we speak and, let me tell you, it’s a frightening one.
I think in a culture where kids are so concerned with what everyone else is doing, it’s even more difficult for them to find out who they really are…inside. What makes them tick? Is it weird or different? Good! That’s even better! Unfortunately, that’s difficult for them to grasp as they enter teendom. Oftentimes, they don’t want to stand out for being original or thinking something different from the norm. They’re afraid to speak their minds. That makes my heart so sad.
We’ve got to teach teens to be proud of the person they are and the one they will become. Don’t you remember that age when you thought you would never be old enough for x,y, or z? It’s almost like they’re wishing their beautiful teenage years away without experiencing them. Always looking ahead, but not living for what’s in front of them today.
How can we get them to live for today but plan for tomorrow?
It’s tricky, really. Stuck in the middle between childhood and adulthood, with no firm footing. It’s almost like a teeter-totter, going back and forth, from one side to the other. You have to guide them to safety. You have to show them how to get to the other side without being thrown off from the ride we call life.
I always find it sad when I hear about parents limiting their children in what they believe they can accomplish in their lives. it’s a huge world out there; don’t you want you kids to know that it’s theirs for the taking?
I’m not saying to tell them it’s going to be easy; they’re going to have to plan and work towards what they want in life. But isn’t it so worth it?
I don’t want my kids growing up and being afraid of becoming an adult because it’s no fun. Life can be exactly how they want it; they have the ability to create a dream board and make it happen. In real life. Can’t get more exciting than that.
When you see a spark of intrigue or genuine interest in your child, take that opportunity to hone in and explore it. These are the times that can make a huge difference in their lives and futures.
Don’t crush their spirit when they say they want to become something you believe to be impossible. It’s not up to you change their minds; sometimes the course of their life will do it for them. Other times, they’ll surprise you and make their dream a reality.
It’s not your job to show them their destination; you provide them with the GPS on how to get there without getting too lost along the way.
Most of all, let them be themselves, whoever that may be. It could possibly be totally different than what you had seen in their little face when they were born but it’s them. Love them. Accept them. Embrace them. And watch them grow into beautiful adults who are still reaching for the stars.