I am very open in my writing and with clients in my practice in sharing that I have children. There are plenty of opportunities that help us to grow in our lives and for me, having children has been one of them. It seems especially important to me to raise my children with intention and consciousness. I don’t want to make decisions about how we raise our children with generational tools, although they can serve us in many ways, but I want to collect as much data as I can. And part of collecting data, for me, involves understanding various perspectives of child development and also doing my own work so that I parent them out of intention and not out of reaction, as much as is humanly possible.
My experience with witnessing my children grow is that they slowly and steadily pull away and come back. I noticed that my husband and I were, together and separately, having conversations lately with our oldest about listening to what he is told to do and about respecting boundaries with us. Both of our kids have a very playful relationship with my husband and me but there are values that, as parents, we hold firm to and figuring all of that out is the part that four of us are learning to do.
I found myself in a conversation with our oldest son and my husband in which my husband was reminding our little guy about respect and boundaries. I found myself in a space of recognizing that what was happening was developmentally appropriate and healthy but knowing that a boundary needed to be established. I said, “Landon, you are 9 and you are doing your job when you push back and challenge us. I get that and that makes sense to me. But, Daddy and I have to keep doing our job in teaching you when it’s okay and when it’s really important for you to trust that we may know something that you don’t get yet.” After I said it out loud, I realized how important it was for me to hear it and for him too despite not being clear about how his 9 year old brain processed it.
My 9 year old is not losing his sweet innocence. He is not changing in a way that means that we won’t be as close and that he is entering into dreaded pre-teen years and what a nightmare the teen years will be. Do you see how unhelpful that way of thinking is? My boy is doing the job that he should be at 9. It is a simple as that. We are all doing our job and this is just what it is right now. And quite frankly, he is pretty funny and quick witted. I love that about his dad and I love it in him. I just have to be extra aware of my stuff so I don’t make this into something that it just isn’t.
In what ways are you and the people in your life simply just doing their job, and what is challenging about that?