Over the last few years, there’s been a paradigm shift about how I view my role as a parent. I know the adage, “train them up” and all of that. And perhaps like all sayings of this sort this one has been skewed by some from the original intent. I just feel in my bones that it’s not my job to TRAIN my children. OR anyone for that matter. It implies to me like I have to change them somehow. And when I come from that standpoint war then enters my home. OF course, I still teach my children stuff. They have chores and responsibilities. I also see how much they have to teach me. About them. About me. And about life. They have unique perspectives that all their own. They are whole and complete individuals. I LOVE being their parent. And I struggle with decisions and hope we’re doing right by them.
I have noticed that when I meet my children with force that they bend to my will…or they don’t. And when I meet them with peace…they bend to my will or they don’t.
I struggle with the choice of peace over dominance every day. This illusion that I have any control over my children is one that interferes with my best intentions. Even when I THINK that I have somehow bent them to my will or asserted my parental authority, I have only done so by their willingness to submit. They CHOOSE to do what I ask/demand or they don’t. It’s up to them. I can’t make them think, say, feel, believe, do anything.
I have influence…sure (as much as they allow). But again…it’s up to them how much they invite my influence in.
Repeatedly I return to the choice. I choose peace…except when I don’t. And when I don’t, I choose to learn.