Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let It Be

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about why we, as adults, can't just let it be a little more. Specifically when it comes to our children. Why do we feel the need to push them to be more, be better? Are they not perfect just as they are? The sad truth is yes, they are, but we feel the desire for them to be superstars, to be perfect in everything that they do.

I'm no exception. My youngest has a horrible time making decisions. To the point that, if it's something that really matters to him, he has a mild panic attack. Almost always this ends with me forcing the issue, telling him he has until the count of 10 to make a decision, and whatever decision he makes at that point is the final one. As I sit here now, reflecting on past actions, I wonder if it would all turn out differently if I would just talk with him, asking him to point out to me what is making him unable to make up his mind. If I took more of a practical approach, teaching him to work through the blind panic that he suffers from his fear of making the wrong choice. Perhaps a list would work for him - pros on one side, cons on the other. The point is that I need to let him be. I need to not force him to make a decision, but teach him that he can make one while still being true to himself. He's fine the way he is, and his lack of decision-making ability is part of that "fine".

Growing up my parents told me constantly that I needed to "toughen up". That wearing my heart on my sleeve would just get it broken. While I know that my parents loved me hearing this constant drone of what was wrong with me has haunted me every day. It led to a lot of questioning myself, not knowing who I was, and feeling like no matter who I was I just wasn't good enough. It's taken the better part of 15 years for me to work through this, to realize that I am the best that I can be, and that even if I am a little soft, even if I do let my emotions shine through, that it doesn't make me a bad person. It doesn't make me unworthy. Do I get my heart broken more than most? More than likely. Could I benefit from being a little tougher? I figure so. Does that diminish my ability to love, or my deservedness to be loved in return? Not in the slightest.

I guess the moral of this little blog entry is simple. If you find yourself picking at your child's character and the behavior that they're exhibiting is not destructive to them or others maybe you should just let it be. Let them become the best that they can be without the constant self-doubt that is going to plague them otherwise.

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