As parents most of us view part of our role as teacher, here to help our children learn about the world and how to function well in it. I believe that our longer life-experience is one of the tools that we can use in guiding our children. However, this urge to teach and the belief that we “know better” also puts most parents at risk of imposing ourselves, our agenda, and our vision on our children at the expense of their own unique life journey. To illustrate my point, let me share a personal story.

Will I support your dream or tether you to my own desires?

This story is about my five year old daughter’s wish to sleep on her own in her own bed for the night. In the video below I share the story as told to my Heart-Led Parent Coaching Circle with the member’s permission.

 

Creating space for our children’s journey as well as our own

As you can see from my story above, it took a truly conscious effort on my part to recognize my desire to prioritize my agenda over my daughter’s dream. I have a deep want to always be connected to my girl, and sharing a family bed is one of the ways our family fosters that connection. I sorely wanted to maintain that ritual. My daughter, however, had a different dream — to be in her own space and dip her toes into another pond of growing self-sufficiency.

I firmly believe that one of the greatest gifts we offer our children is opening to their vision for their lives as often as possible, by saying “Yes. Go for it! I’m here in service of you having your life. What can I do to support you? Though doing this can feel incredibly risky and may even seem to cost us what we most desire in the moment, I think that this ability to “sacrifice” actually helps us get our needs met too. In my case, though my daughter didn’t share my bed that night (or the next two), I know that our bigger connection was actually strengthened in spite of our physical distance.

What do you think? Have you been at similar “crossroads” feeling torn between your wants and your child’s? How did you find you way to the other side and what have you discovered? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

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