Saturday, March 10, 2012

Helpless parents

One of the worst feelings, I think, we have as parents is helplessness.  The degree to which we feel this emotion changes through the years. From the first days when you couldn’t seem to figure out why the baby is crying, to watching her fall as she learns to walk, this helpless emotion goes on and on through the scraped knees from learning to skate, or tears when they fight with a friend.  The older the child gets, the worse that helpless feeling of ours becomes! We stand by while she suffers her first broken heart all the way through to the mistakes they will make as they choose their direction in life.  
We can guide our children to make sound decisions; we can relay our own bad decisions, and hope they learn from our mistakes. But in the end, you can't make their life choices.  You are helpless to do anything more than guide them as they make their way in life. 

In a world of instant gratification like ours, it is difficult to teach them that there are things worth the wait.  How does one teach a child that, in life, waiting can double the joy. That going slow and steady in fact does win the race. 

Young love seems to have an extra strong hold when they are at the edge of adulthood.  Any attempt to temper the raging hormones is met with suspicion and disdain. You, the parent, of course, are trying to ruin their lives and don't understand the depth of their feelings because you were never a teen in love.  Their love story will be the exception, and you're just trying to ruin their lives.  

It seems an impossible task to make your child see that all you wish is to save them heartache, pain and regret. That you want their lives to be better and richer than your own.  A parent’s dream is to see their child happy and to reach, every goal they set for themselves.

As parents, we all do what we think is best for our kids. We listen, guide and love. We can and will raise productive children who have lives better than we could dream for them, if we just keep working at it.

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