Have you ever thought to yourself “what is that person thinking?” I know I have and then I heard this wonderful Hawaiian saying “think not that all the wisdom is in your school.” It really helped me to understand that just because someone does something differently than I would do it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Learning this has allowed me to respect that other people see the world differently than I do, especially my kids. We do have certain rules in our family that we stick to, however, I’ve stopped trying to convince my kids that my way is the best way. Because it’s not. I don’t know everything and my kids have come up with some ingenious ideas and solutions to problems. It’s allowed me to grow as a parent and a human being.
As parents we teach our kids to make the best possible choices and yet what we teach them is based on our own model of the world – on what we’ve learned and the mistakes we’ve made. It’s tempting to try to shield our kids from making the same mistakes. But are we really helping them by shielding them?
Children do need guidance and support and it’s important to remember where guidance ends and control begins. As children grow older they tend to make their own minds up about things. Parents can share knowledge and then let the children decide for themselves how to proceed within a safe range of choices. A parent’s role is to make sure children are safe and loved, and that their choices fall within a zone that is enriching and guiding for them.
Children need structure and parents have to remember to respect that they are people with their own model of the world.