You and Your Amazing Children

Linda Silverman's picture
Your children come into this world with their own agendas, as Annemarie Roeper would say. They are not empty slates to be written on, nor are they clay to be molded. Who is this person who has chosen to share your journey with you? Each day you are given the opportunity to discover another answer to that question—to learn new facets of your child. Instead of asking, “What did you learn in school today?” ask yourself, “What did I learn about my child today?”
 
Parenting can feel like an overwhelming responsibility with so much to do, never enough time, and infinite ways to fail. But children are hearty and the blessing of having gifted children is that they take a lot of the guesswork out of parenting. They give you immediate feedback to let you know whether what you are doing is working for them or not! Not every parent is so lucky…
 
I understand your perfectionism. You want to be the “perfect parent.”  Please know that you are the perfect parent for your child—even when you lose your temper.  If you never lost your temper, you would be an impossible role model for your child. Any time he or she became angry, terrible guilt would set in. If anger isn’t allowable in your home, it has to be repressed, which is emotionally unhealthy. From observing you, your children learn how you handle your anger, how long you hold onto it, how you move beyond it, how you make up, and how you come to a place of forgiveness of yourself as well as of others. What wonderful life lessons!
 
You are enough. Tell yourself this often. Don’t beat yourself up for what you haven’t done. Pay more attention to what you’ve accomplished. “Hey, I got through that trying experience without melting down. Yea Me.” “OK, I got a start that project. That’s always the hardest part. After I sleep, I’ll have renewed energy and make more progress tomorrow.” Be kind to yourself. That’s the best way you can teach your children to be kind to themselves, rather than seeing themselves as lacking.
 
My children and grandchildren are into Dungeons and Dragons (D & D). Years ago I had this thought that life is a lot like D & D. You take risks, you go down blind alleys, and, through trial and error, you gain experience points for surviving. There is no way to avoid “errors.” Each one provides you with experience you could not have gained any other way. Through the process of elimination, each “mistake” gets you closer to where you want to be. Edison discovered thousands of ways you could not make a lightbulb. 
 
What if there were no mistakes? What if there were only learning experiences? How would that change your life? How would that change your style of parenting? How would it change your children’s lives?
 
Life is not a race to the top; it is a succession of precious moments. Appreciate your amazing children, find them endlessly fascinating, and have fun with them whenever you can. Make memorable memories with them.