I am feeling very wise this morning, although I don't know why. At my age, I am still making plenty of mistakes and hopefully I am still learning from them. I am not quite sure what it means when you stop learning, but I am not ready to find out just yet. I developed my "style" as I grew up. There were things I liked in out household and things I didn't like. I am sure that my kids feel the same way, at least I hope so. I am okay with that. "The Ninja" pointed out to me last night that some of what I am and do is because of the things that I didn't like as I grew up and I chose to change those things. She is right.
I can get very forceful and insistent and stubborn with my kids. Especially when I see them making the same mistakes that I have made. I already know the outcome, and I desperately want to keep them from suffering those consequences. I want to save them from that pain. That's a problem. It is my problem.
So my wisdom and advice today is that you cannot save your children. You can teach them, but they have to choose whether or not they want to learn. You can advise them, but they have to decided whether or not to take that advice. The bottom line to that is, if you don't let them feel the pain of bad choices, you have deprived them of a very important life lesson.
On a very basic level, you can tell a small child not run by the pool. You can't stop them unless you hang on to them and don't let them play and move around. They are going to run, and they might fall, and they might not. If they don't fall, it is good. But if they do, they will scrape there knees, maybe bump their chin and they will feel pain. You can't take that away. Hopefully, they learn from it. But then again, they may not learn as quickly as you would like. The point is, they get to live life with all its ups and downs. That is life. It is not fair to take that away from them.
I tend to fix or try to fix and cover for the adult mistakes that they make. I was reminded last night that it is there lives. They must make and do make their own choices and they must deal with the negative consequences whether they are personal or financial or both. They also get to enjoy the positive consequence. I can hurt with them and smile with them, but I have to stop taking on the consequences. Love for your children can make you do great things and it can make you do dumb things with good intentions.
I hope that my children are able to learn from my mistakes. I will love them and hold them when they cry, but I will let them make their choices. I will smile and laugh with them, love them and hold them when they triumph. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks. For not having her own kids, "The Ninja" gives pretty good advice about mine! Thanks!!!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!