Expectations We Place On Our Children And The Need To Just Let Go!

When does it stop, this tendency to compare ourselves to others. It's something I have worked on and yet I still find myself doing it, though not so much as I did when I was younger. I can honestly say that I am happy with the person that I have become and that down through the years I have grown to really love myself.

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But it's hard to let some things go, especially things we have been conditioned to do. From a young age, we are introduced to different situations, where things can become quite competitive. Certain expectations that we have of our children, especially since we are told, that they need to be able to walk, talk and count by such and such an age.

When our kids don't reach those goals, we can freak out, thinking perhaps there is something wrong with them. As we place them all under one umbrella. An umbrella that has been created, so that they step into the role as a model citizen.

We are all born so wonderfully different and unique and all of us, have the potential to reach greatness. Yet, that potential is so often hampered by the pressures and expectations that are placed upon us. Expectations that may be easy for some, but so unattainable for others.

As a result we end up raising children, who suffer with huge insecurities. Insecurities, that both we as parents and the world at large, have placed upon them.

I have tried so hard, to not do this with my girls. To praise them and support them, when they wish to try out different things. To give them the space and freedom to figure out things for themselves. To discover how best they learn and who they are.

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Never once mentioning any of the expectations, that society expects of them. And yet there has been quite a few times, when others have voiced their concerns, because they compare my children, to those who live completely different lives. Focusing on the goals that the educational system has created, instead of seeing the huge amount of skills that they have already learned, from living the life that they live.

Those concerns have sometimes been heard by my girls and slowly they begun to question their own abilities and compare themselves to others.

We have conversations about the different gifts that we each have and how important it is to take the time to really explore those gifts, so that we can find ways in which to share them. We talk about how boring it would be, if we were all good at the same thing. How we need diversity within the world, so that we can all thrive.

Just look at nature, how wonderfully diverse it is, and how that diversity is what makes it so strong and resilient. How our strength, lies in the fact that we each can contribute so much to making this world a better place. A contribution, that comes from doing what we are passionate about.

Think about how you feel when you are doing what you love, when you get to create something, be it art, music, food, writing, gardens, buildings. We are creators first and foremost.

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We are not meant to be moulded, we are not meant to be placed within the constraints of society. We are meant to discover the things that allow us to be free, free to discover who we really are.

Yet everywhere you look these days, there are images of what our sons and daughters should look like. Images that find there way to them, no matter how much you try and keep them away. Images that only represent one body type and yet so may struggle to achieve that ideal look.

I have had many conversations with them, about their bodies and how amazing they are. Focusing more on what they do, rather than what we expect them to be. Trying to show them how important it is to honour ourselves, to honour these amazing vessels that allow us to be a part of this world.

But step out of their home and the message is very different. Sometimes I feel like running away higher into the mountains, just so they can be free of these negative influences. But this is not my life we are talking about and what sort of a life would they have if I did.

At the end of the day, they need to be a part of the world, not apart from it.

As my eldest is now in her teenager years, there are a whole other set of insecurities that seem to be settling in. She is changing so much and I can see, she is uncomfortable with some of those changes and uncomfortable about me talking about them. So I am learning once again about the importance of letting go. In trusting that my daughter can navigate her own way, as I take a back seat and let her come to me.

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Thanks so much xxx

Truth is we all are tagged individual for reason , we need to explore who we are and not who others wants us to be.
Have come to realizes you only get unique when you explore yourself and not what others want from you.
I love this.

Thanks so much @ijohnsen xxxx

Thanks for the support xxx

Letting go of our children in varying situations is hard. You've raised them and have to trust that they will do the right thing; go down the right path, etc. Will they make mistakes? Of course, but being there and loving them will help put them back on the right path. The world can certainly be an interference. Thanks for sharing and take care!

yes that is so true, it is a hard thing to just fully step back and let them make their own way xxxx

You're right @trucklife-family that we as well as our children is unique. They have their different wants and likes. We are here to support them to achieve their own goals.

Time will come your eldest will know how to open up to you. Just wait for the right time. Just show your support so she will be confident enough to open up soon.

Just look at nature, how wonderfully diverse it is, and how that diversity is what makes it so strong and resilient. How our strength, lies in the fact that we each can contribute so much to making this world a better place. A contribution, that comes from doing what we are passionate about.

Yes, diversity is so important and it is so important that each child is given the space to discover their true selves - their strengths, weaknesses and passions. Society certainly tries to mold people into a certain way of thinking and a certain way of life, but for me it's not all bad, society and how we have evolved is quite impressive as well, to have gone from cavemen chasing animals around a field and scrawling on walls to a race who can send rockets to far flung places, operate a telescope in deep space, fly from one corner of the earth to another with a plane load of safe people, write works of fiction that amaze and entertain us, create works of art that bring tears to your eyes. I think without a well functioning society, a lot of this would not have been possible.

Like anything though society has its ills and plenty of them, and although we like to think that we can shield of children from them all, alas we cannot, and we just need to pour our love upon them, raise them with respect for themselves/each other/their surroundings and hope that when they reach a certain age, where they stand more on their own two feet that the lessons we have thought them will have permeated deep within them and they will steer clear of societal ills and have an open mind and see the many paths available in almost every situation.

For me, I want my children to be open minded, well rounded, happy, fun and educated. They will be all free to end their education at whatever stage they decide, but I will put the finances in place for them all to continue until 3rd level education if possible. They may well decide to be a trademan or an artist or whatever, but I do find in my own experience that further education helps to open many doors in life, that are trickier to open without it.

I do love the relationship you have with and the way you raise your children which is abundantly obvious through your posts, they are lucky girls. It is different to my own outlook, but isn't that what makes a world, with all different outlooks, viewpoints, aspirations and lives - It would be pretty boring if we were all the same and to your point, if society had its way we probably would all be molded into very similar vessels.

Thanks @ablaze, I believe we want the same things for our children, I love how you say pour our love into them, that is for sure the most important thing we can do for them. Thank you for your wonderful input xxxx

right ,If we don't find ourselves we will dig our existence

"We are creators first and foremost."

<3

It's sad how society tries to force us to "fit in" and in doing so really just separates us permanently - both from society and ourselves :/

Good job, mom. Keep shining the light :) More will follow!

Cool.

I'm also very interested to hear more about your time in the mental health arena btw... I bet that is an interesting story right there.

At the end of the day, they need to be a part of the world, not apart from it.— well said ! In as much as parents expect so much from their children there will come a time when they will be capable of handling things on their own .

Yes, they will for sure, they are our future at the end of the day. It is just hard sometimes to watch them navigate their way, although I know they can do it well xxx