Maybe it means encouraging her to pursue that which is her passion -- and if it interferes with your plans, my plans or even school, then too bad. Maybe it means allowing her free expression, even if you think it is inappropriate, weird, strange or maybe even immature, even if I have to struggle uncomfortably through it to validate that she is who she is and there is nothing "wrong" with her. Maybe it is holding her hand through a meltdown, to let her know I am there for her, and giving her the time to feel deeply about whatever it is she needs to feel deeply about. Maybe it means supporting her through others narrowly judging her interests, behaviors, ideas, concepts and sense of style. Maybe it looks like a "different" or at times, even difficult child to you, but it may look like a beautifully authentic and honest one to me.
This doesn't mean there is no accountability. When she hurts another's feelings, she learns to make amends, and other life lessons of respect, kindness, justice, mercy and peace are still taught through gentle guidance and by example. It simply means that when we honor the souls of our children, we instill the message to them that we have confidence in them, they are unique, important, unconditionally loved and have ownership over their being. We reinforce that their mind-body-soul is beautiful, that they are valued, and all the other messages we hope our children receive to help them be the best THEM they can be.
For the record, this entry is not in response to any incident...it is just a parenting philosophy and a reflection on the trends in parenting that tend to encourage a cookie-cutter-kid instead of letting children and their uniqueness and quirks and ways-in-which-they-work-it-out SHINE. May we all be blessed with the insight and ability to let our children SHINE as who they are, at all times.
|My 9-year old shining child!|
|My 3-year old shining big girl!|