It’s tough being a kid. I know many adults think kids have it easy: they don’t have many responsibilities or bills to pay. I think kids are under a lot of pressure. I believe it is because parents are under a lot of pressure. Parents want their kids to be the best – as opposed to simply letting their kid “be.”. We push and push and lead them to believe they must always be busy, busy, busy – just like the parent.
Rather than parent – most parents want to control. If you are a parent, teach your children early that the goal is for them to leave you! Tell them by the time they are 18 or 20, they should be ready to get out of the house and away from you. Yes – they should want that. Even if it feels yucky for you – that is the goal.
I remember when my kids were still quite young – my mom lived with us – and it would drive her crazy that we let our kids dress how they wanted. Winter boots in summer, rain coat in the sun, Easter dress to pre-school painting parties. It drove my mom crazy because she was worried that people would think poorly of me – the way I was parenting. This is the worst reason for choosing what you let your child do or don’t do – expectations of others!
Letting our kids have freedoms like choosing what to wear worked most times. They were able to express themselves and learn to take initiative. I remember other parents commenting to us how young our kids were to get themselves dressed and ready for bed unprovoked. Unfortunately they never wanted to sleep!
We didn’t do it perfectly, but I would say we did okay. We “let go” a lot! Even when I struggled with disappointments, I rarely let them know. And when I sat with what I thought was my disappointment in them or in their “performance,” I usually found buried under that feeling, some fear of not measuring up to those around me. Mostly it had nothing to do with my children!