Our children may not always choose values and paths the same as us, but without knowing what ours are, they have nothing to stick to or stray from. Our children will need us to create boundaries, provide guidance and a platform from which they can make their own judgments.
Of course, when our children are young, they don’t have the same opportunity to express their difference, we only get glimpses when they don’t get their own way. But as they mature, their choices become more obvious, especially when they differ from our own.
This can be confronting for parents and a growth opportunity for us to appreciate that our children are not our possessions, they have a mind of their own and will experiment with what that looks like. It is not uncommon to see children stray from our path, but then return as they venture further into adulthood, as is their rite. However, they may not, and as parents we need to respect that choice and love them through it.
Know what you stand for first, share it with your children, then let them decide for themselves what they adopt and what they don’t. There are bound to be areas of life where we have made different choices to those our parents might have had us make, your children need the space to do that too.
Our children need us to give them a compass, knowledge of how to read it and skills to use it for navigation. But the direction they take will be their choice.
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