I’m curious… do you ever wonder how much of your parenting directly correlates with how your children turn out? I mean, these are things I ponder as a parent. In fact, I have flat out asked my teenagers what they thought.
Do they really care what I have to say on certain topics?
Do my constant reminders to not do or say something mean anything?
Don’t get me wrong, they are good kids. But, they still have the ability to do and think for themselves. And they very much do.
All the time.
So, how much of what Colby and I say and do actually helps mold them into the beings they eventually become?
For instance, I am very much a conservative. Like, in many ways. Whether it comes to modesty, values, integrity, you name it. I am pretty far right. My teens? Not so much. Whereas one thinks “a lot” like me… the other is my total opposite. And considering Colby and I are mostly on the same page, that way of thinking didn’t come from their daddy either. We obviously give them the freedom to think and act on their own… but how I pray they would see things my way. I *may* be a bit of a control freak by the way.
I mean, that is only normal, right? Is it? Wanting what you believe is best for your child? I don’t want cookie cutter kids by any means… but I also don’t want them going off the deep end with some off-the-wall thought process. We’re talking extremes here. For the record, we are not yet there. Again… YET.
It’s hard. Parenting in general is hard. We try to teach them right from wrong. Compassion. Kindness. Empathy. As well as values and morals important to us. Their mom and dad. But, ouch, it’s hard to watch them fall when they turn another direction. And no, it doesn’t always end in despair. They may prove us wrong every now and then. I can definitely accept that and celebrate with them in their victories.
In fact, I relish those times. I have watched our oldest daughter flourish since she moved out over a year ago. Did I want her to leave so soon? No way! But, it improved her relationship not only with Colby and I… but with her siblings. And THAT is most important to me. She is an amazing big sister. The girls adore her and look forward to the time they get to spend with her.
The crazy thing? It really all goes back to what I was trying to bore into her head the entire time she was home with us.
“You can’t love someone outside the family until you, first, learn to love yourself… and, second, learn to love each of us.”
Why did I repeat this to her again and again? Because family, to me, is everything. I cannot imagine my life any other way. I want it to be the same for my kids. I want them to love and adore each other. Surely that cannot be a tough request for me, as their mother, to make.
But again, how much of what I say do they actually retain? How much gets into their heads so that, in the end, I know that my presence in their life made a difference. And, yes, these are the things that go through my head at night when I can’t sleep.
I will say it again… “Parenting is hard.” There’s no manual. Each and every kid is different. Each one. We have 5 and not one is exactly like another. Each one is unique and I can see them all heading in different directions in life. I just hope that we are all able to continue down that path… together.
How much of YOU do you find your pour into your kids?
And do you think they get it? Ignore it? Don’t care?
I love my kids regardless. I guess my main concern is that I don’t completely mess them up along the way. I have to do this 5 times. Whew. Fingers crossed it all works out. Ha!