It’s important to know your audience when you speak.
I take inspiration from other bloggers who figuratively let it all hang out, consequences be damned.
I am fairly naive when it comes to raising my children. I assume that if I raise them with love and respect, they will be loving and respectful toward me and others. But I’m not supposed to be their friend, right? I’m supposed to maintain an air of authority so that occasionally I can redirect them when they need it. Then again, I’ve met lots of kids who have varying degrees of discipline and guidance imposed upon them by their parents, and their level of involvement seems to make little to no difference in how they turn out. At all.
When I try to predict how I will act in future situations regarding the maturation of my kids into adults, I feel as silly as I know I sounded before I had any kids:
- My kids will eat what I prepare for meals because I won’t give them any other choice, and their palates will be used to the tastes of foods I like because I will not alter my cooking to suit my kids.
- I won’t watch kid movies and neither will my kids.
- The father of my kids will be just as good at caring for them as infants as I will be.
Some things I planned and have been right about:
- I don’t speak in ‘baby talk’ to my kids no matter how young they are.
- I pick my battles and don’t make a big deal out of small issues.
- I don’t hold back on words and actions that express my absolute adoration for my kids. In fact, I tell them how great they are, how cool they are, how amazing they are, all the time. I don’t believe a kid can be spoiled with words of praise.
- I teach my kids that I’m a real person with feelings, likes and dislikes. As a result, my kids listen to me when I’m upset, happy, and everything in between.
- My kids can talk to me about anything.
For future though? I’d like it if these things I am right about:
- My kids are a good judge of character.
- My kids are going to attend some sort of post-secondary education so that more doors are open to them.
- My son respects women and chooses a smart, self-assured partner.
- My daughter doesn’t feel the need to change herself to convince a boy to like her.
Note: Both of my kids have expressed that they are hetero, without any prompting from me. So I feel safe in predicting they will look for partners of the opposite sex.
- My kids, when they are adults, will keep in touch with me because they want to, not because I’m forcing them. (But I will if I have to!)
- I’m able to let my adult children live their lives and make their own mistakes. Little by little, I can let go of them and trust them to make good decisions (big decisions and the million little decisions we make every day).
I don’t doubt my kids can make decisions, but I’m worried about me being able to let them go. As it is now, I tend to swoop in and rescue them for the smallest of difficulties they experience in their very limited lives. When is the right time to really let go? What constitutes letting go in the first place?
For all of my know-it-all attitude about how parents of adult children should conduct themselves? Geez I hope I live up to my own standards.