Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parenting...or Something Like That

Some parents are overbearing.  They will hover over their children's decisions, guiding them in a particular direction.  For example, the doctor that pushes his child to become a doctor as well. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with following in someones footsteps, but they life you forge should be your own.

In an ever changing world, there is no right answer for life paths.  Everyone finds their own way.

As parents, the best thing for us to do is teach the moral standards of right and wrong, and hope that our children will apply them to real life situations.  Of course we don't want our children to make poor moral decisions.  But honestly mom and dad, what are the chances that your child will make atrocious, incomprehensible life shattering decisions that will ruin the lives of millions without you holding their hand?  Slim.

As a mother, I understand the pressure of feeling like your children need to be well educated, well dressed, and grow to fit the social requirements of our society.  I know you don't want your child to want.  I know you don't want your child to be unprepared or under prepared.  I know you want your child to grow to be healthy, happy, safe and above all successful.  I know because these are things I want for my little girl.  They are ideas that float in and out of my thoughts throughout the day.

But as a child, I know that my definitions of success and happiness are far different from my parents. Just as I know that my daughters generation will have their own feelings on these matters.

My parents have the best of intentions when giving me advice or scolding me for what they think was a poor life decision.  All parents do.  But the world is changing. 

Going back to school isn't unconventional for a single mother anymore.  If we only bought things that were American made, we wouldn't be a consumer nation.  And it is no longer taboo for a woman to have a child out of wed lock.  Women are becoming the bread winners in more and more households, while stay at home dads are increasingly prominent.

The ideals that were strong 50 years ago are not as defined as they once were.  We are viewing the world through a different pair of eyes than our parents ever did.

As a parent, I only hope I will be able to guide my child to the decisions that are best for her life and her personality.  I know the challenges of a parent will always be mine.  But I think it is important for a child to choose their own life path. 

They need to make life their own.  They need to decide what makes them happy and set their own standards for their success.  And when appropriate, they need to be allowed to make mistakes.

After all, if they never make mistakes, how will they ever learn about who they are?

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