bad decisions

Raising Confident Children, pt. 3

Parents play three distinct roles as mom or dad, teaching, coaching and cheeringWhen children are young, our every action teaches them what we believe . As they grow, we teach then stand on the sidelines and watch them practice. At some point in life, every child makes a decision or a series of decisions that are the exact opposite of what a  parent would choose for them.

What to do? What to do?  When your teenager, young adult or adult child is off-roading  and you, the parent can see there's an easier way to arrive at the same destination, how do you advise when no one wants your advice? I'd like to submit to you the idea that this is when we put on our cheerleading uniforms and begin to "cheer" them through the game.

Sound,independent decisions are what we want to see our children repeat over and over. One definition for sound is sensible. What is sensible to a man or woman in their 20's might not be to one in their 40's. Because of experience, a parent can usually "see farther" than their child but it doesn't change the fact that most of us are who we are because of the mistakes we've made, and our children will become the men and women they are destined to be through their good and bad decisions.

If your child isn't interested in your words of wisdom,  it's okay to let him/her know you would do things differently, but don't stop there. Do your own self a favor. Look at the attributes your child possesses and verbalize them. "I admire your ability to commit," "Your creativity amazes me," "You're such a risk-taker!" Hearing you speak positively  will let your child know 1) your love is unconditional 2) you believe in him/her 3) you are a safe place to run to if things don't work out. Hearing your own words can assuage your fears because you can visualize the characteristics you name out and when you do, you'll realize your child is many times, better equipped than you think.

Finally, human beings are like a garden. There are all kinds of flowers. Some require direct sun and some flourish in shade. We can be comforted in knowing  there is a Gardener that waters daily and guards it day and night, ensuring the care of each individual flower.