Let a child be what they want to be, right? Be free, be easygoing, be fearless, be you. The spirit is so very important. Until you see their future fluttering ahead of them like a long, unstable red carpet. Attached to a rope bridge.
You want to ensure their future. Give them opportunities. Provide encouragement. Want them to excel in one thing, or many things, just be good at something. Something that can be a springboard for something else that will help propel them forward with self-esteem and self-confidence.
But what if the opposite appears to be manifesting? What if your kid seems to be a drifter? A dreamer? At times, unwilling to try for fear of failure. And at others, doing what you’ve asked of him but in such a way that it pleases him, risking taunts or becoming an outcast?
Your fears abound that history is poised to be repeated. You find yourself pushing back the notion from the cliff edge, glancing fearfully over your shoulder at fate, future, circumstance and know that although you have taken steps to steer them, ultimately the force will outweigh you and whatever happens, happens.
The best we can do is keep our eyes peeled in helping them find a path. It’s not a time for anger…at them or at ourselves. It’s a time to let them experience all they can with stuff that costs money and stuff that doesn’t. Make sure they work hard to get good grades, support them, make them laugh (a lot), hold them (a lot), let them know that they are loved (every day, several times a day) and above all, be open to them.
My parents were of a different generation – closed off, emotionally absent, and unpromising discouragers. (Definitely not a word but I like it, so there). But I’m not here to whine about my childhood, all I will say is that I practice daily in breaking the cycle.
Whatever my son decides to do with his life, I hope that he will be happy, healthy and aware. And, that he carries with him into adulthood, the ever-present traits of affability, empathy, and an even temperament.