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Friday, April 18, 2014

Successful Children

So I was thinking today about what defines a "successful" child in a parents eyes.  I thought about certain people, and how their parents might feel about them, but I'm not going to name any names or give anything away because I don't want to be hurtful, only thought provoking.  
Would you think success is defined by your child being a rich investment broker with 2 houses and a boat and 5 jet skis, even if they had to sacrifice their own family?  Would you think your child is successful if they lived in a run down trailer with no electric or plumbing, but they loved their spouse and children more than anything in the world?  What about if they were gay/lesbian?  Would there be any way for you to see them as successful if you disagreed with the way they live their life?  
I'm not sure how I would feel about that.  I love my boys unconditionally.  There is nothing they could do to make me not love them.  They test my patience, try my parenting skills, and drive me nuts, but without a doubt, they are priceless and my love for them will never ever ever stop.  I have high hopes for them, but lately I'm realizing that's MY hopes-theirs might be different!  Seems kind of like a DUH moment, but I never thought about it before.  
My kids are growing up into their own unique selves, and it doesn't always fit into my cookie cutter view of what I want them to be.  They do things different than I would-but it's ok!  Frustrating to sit back and watch, but....ok.  
This is one part of parenting I never considered-the part where you let go and sit back and watch what they will do.  I was so in the mindset of "protect them from this", "don't let them do that", "they need help with that, I can just tell", almost to the point where it was holding them back.  I have Adam to thank for opening my eyes to the fact that I can't do everything for them forever.  I have to let them figure stuff out.  It's still a struggle, sometimes I control myself, sometimes I fail.  But I realize that if my kids aren't doing and growing, they're faltering and shrinking, and no parent wants that.

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