When you raise a free spirit, they’ll test your limits. They’ll climb on furniture and play with their food. They’ll pick out their own clothes and not care for two seconds that it doesn’t match at all. They’ll argue over what they’re passionate about even if it’s something that seems so, so silly to us adults.
They’ll voice their opinion on things—on how they feel and how they don’t feel.
They might show their true colors in the grocery store or at birthday parties. They’ll fight you for two hours to not wear socks or because they just don’t understand why they can’t play in muddy, possibly snake-filled ditch water. They’ll cause a scene at the doctor’s office and tire the nurses because they simply “don’t need” their shots, and they don’t care about the lollipop that comes as the reward, either.
You see, when you raise a free spirit, you’ll be judged.
Other parents and onlookers may give you dirty stares. Some may even be bold enough to ask you why. Why are you allowing your child to behave this way? Why are you spoiling and ruining your children? Why aren’t you raising your child? Because to some people, raising a free spirit to be free is the equivalent of not raising your child at all.
But I am raising my children in the most holistic, loving, nurturing way I know possible. I’m just not raising them in the way that’s deemed the most normal by society.
When you raise a free spirit, you don’t raise them to make their decisions based on whether or not you’ll be mad or whether or not they’ll be punished. You raise them to make their choices based on what they believe is the right thing to do. You raise them to guide their own actions based on their own morals and understandings.
And the truth is . . . it can be exhausting.
When you raise a free spirit, some days you’ll feel defeated. You may lose sight of why you choose to parent this way. You may wonder why everyone else sees an unruly child when you see a tiny human with their own personality, their own creativity, and their own emotional struggles.
When you raise a free spirit, you lose sight of the power play between parent and child. You lose the concept of “I’m the adult, you’re the child, and you do as I say just because I said it.”
When you raise a free spirit, you don’t see just a child, you see a person, who is growing up to be well-rounded.
When you raise a free spirit, you raise an adult who doesn’t follow the herd.
You raise an adult who will stand up for what they believe in even if they stand alone and even if they have to stand against others.
You raise an adult who is comfortable with expressing themselves.
You raise an adult who feels emotions to the core of their being, and who loves what they love passionately and unapologetically.
When you raise a free spirit, you’re raising the new generation for a world that drastically needs authenticity and empathy.
And after you’ve raised that free spirit, when they’re all grown-up, they still won’t take no for an answer, and they probably still won’t wear socks.
Because we’re just meant to be different, and why shouldn’t we be?