Children have their own mountain to climb…
Have we accidentally found ourselves in the terrain of parenting our younger self instead of the actual child that lives in our house?
- Were we asked to grow up too soon, do too much, and perhaps even parent our own parents? In response, we might unintentionally over-serve our child with time, attention, and special service. While we might expect them to be grateful and energized by all we have done, maybe they act entitled and unmotivated.
- Did we party too much in college? It makes sense to us then to put our kids on lock-down so they don’t do the same thing, because we think, ‘of course they would do the same’ instead of observing who they actually are. Maybe they are not as compelled to alter their brains as we were because they had an entirely different childhood than we had.
- Do we feel like we need to control things, stop bad things from happening, give warnings and information because something big and scary happened to an adult in our life that we couldn’t control?
- Did we have an overly controlling and intrusive parent so we are super laissez-faire with our kid, believing that freedom = faith in them?
Our kids were born on a different mountain than us. They have different dragons to slay. They have other demons in their heads. We cannot protect them from the journey, the dragons, or the demons.
When we feel like we are speaking to deaf ears, repeating ourselves, doing things that aren’t solving the problem – I invite us to pause and see if we aren’t accidentally parenting ourselves. If we are, take a deep breath and look around. It’s a new mountain, and we are now the support team on their mountain journey.