Do any of you parents tell your children “because I said so” or “because I am the parent, not you”. Ugh. I, myself, am so terribly guilty of this. I throw my parent card in my kids’ faces at least five times a day. Multiply that by three children, which equals an embarrassing amount of times I claim to be all-powerful and require the compliance of my little seedlings.
As parents, we like to believe that we know best. And, honestly, the majority of the time, we do. But, the fact is that we are not right all of the time. Unfortunately, for most of us, this is a super hard pill to swallow. And, if you have uber-smart kids, who are super self-aware and self-confident, they will likely tell you when and how you are making a mistake, or simply that you are plain “wrong”. I have three of those, one of whom, well, she really has a smart mouth.
When a child corrects an adult, the adult is typically quick to ensure the child “knows their place” and will remind the child to “respect authority”. But, when we do this and then we are wrong, this sends a very confusing and disillusioning message to our children. What we really need to be focusing on as parents is that we are working in collaboration with our children. Additionally, we must be consistent, yet flexible; clear on our expectations, but open-minded and accepting of our theirs; communicate well; make decisions together and share the power and control. Listen — the truth is that us parents, well, we hardly know best all of the time.
What Do We Know For Certain?
We know that we want our children to grow up happy. We know that we want our children to grow up healthy. We know that we want our children to grow up feeling comfortable. We know that we want our children to grow up feeling safe. And, we know that we want our children to grow up and be someone the world is proud to have in it.
But, since this momma and all parents don’t always know best, what we really want for our children is for them to grow up how they want to grow up — and we sure hope that makes them happy. We want for our children to grow up being of healthy mind and body — empowered by their own sense of self-awareness and self-confidence. We want for our children to grow up feeling comfortable — in their own skin, their own home, in their own convictions and in all of their relationships. We want for our children to grow up feeling safe and being surrounded by things and people that make them feel cherished and unthreatened. And, we want for our children to grow up and not care if the world is proud to have them in it, but for them to be proud of themselves.
Want my sentiment?
As parents, I feel like we kind of live by this quote by Maya Angelo: “Do the best you can, until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” Well, our kiddos are most likely living by this motto too and I believe there is some honest beauty in that, don’t you?