Do have faith in your children
Parents want their kids to work harder and do better, so they plan more activities and lessons to fill up their “free time.” What’s too bad is that in doing so, they create a world in which children are under tremendous pressure to excel all the time. When children are pushed to excel, they never get to experience the wonderful lessons that are learned from failure.
It is fairly easy to guide our children to becoming the kind of people we think they should be. All we need is some vision, some recollection of our own experience, some vigilance, and our natural parental gift of lecturing. But it’s a very different piece of business to help our children find the happiness that comes with discovering where they belong in life. For that, we need faith.
Not the faith that kids won’t fail—because they will. And not the faith that they won’t make stupid decisions—because they will. Rather, faith in their resilience. This resilience comes from the wisdom our children have always had—but don’t know they have until they need it. And ultimately, resilience comes from the gift of life itself; we get wounded and then we heal. It is inevitable.
It seems as if the more we let go, the more we experience love. Love is beyond everything else—anxiety, desire, hope, and resentment. Love is openhearted, demands nothing and needs nothing. It is more likely to visit when our desires are quiet, when we don’t need or want much, and when we accept that everything we love is not permanent, but it with us at this very moment.
Adults live such fast-paced lives. We are so caught up in our own concerns and insecurities that many times we don’t even hear what our children are trying to tell us. We may hear the words, but too often, we miss the meaning. This has been described as “drive-by parenting.”
If we want to really hear our children, we need to take time to first listen to ourselves. Only then can we listen to them. The more you listen, the more your kids will speak to you. If you listen with an open heart, your kids will speak with an open heart. And in turn, this will help you both to learn to care deeply about each other.
Parents try hard to protect their kids and make everything right for them, but we can’t. The truth is, they are on their own paths—not ours. But children are wonderfully adaptive. They can handle much more than we give them credit for. They can teach us about adaptation, healing and devotion—if we listen.
Find delight in watching your kids and understand your inability to protect them from the world. Love is much easier when we have faith in our children’s resilient spirit.
“Your children can be around you all day, but if you don’t spend quality time with them and you don’t pay attention to them and talk to them and listen to them, it doesn’t matter that they’re just around you.”