One thing you learn as a mother is that your mistakes don't define how the rest of your life will be, anymore than how your child's mistakes will define theirs. You have to let go of your mistakes so you can teach your kids to do the same.
Your Past is Yours Alone - When you become a parent, you don't get an "Owner's Manual" when the baby arrives, so a lot of things you teach your kids are from your own experiences growing up. You look at mistakes you think your parents made and try to avoid those. You remember how you were when you were a teenager, so you think your kids will think and act the same way so you apply what techniques taught you lessons and maybe some you wish you had. It's all we have to go on when we start out! But, any mistakes you made as a kid were your mistakes alone. You can't assume because you were a rebellious teenager that your child will be one, or that because you were an awful (or amazing) student your child will be the same. It's okay to give them some guidelines, but, make sure you try to be objective with your children so they don't carry the "sins" of their parents on their shoulders. They are different people and will have their own desires and ideas pushing them along in the world.
Don't Put Your Results on Your Kids - Don't assume because one of your children DOES follow a similar path you did, that it will end in the same outcome. Just because you have regrets about something in your life, doesn't mean your child will have the same regrets in his/her life. What might not have worked for you, might be a great thing for your son or daughter. As a mother, you want to protect your child from any hurt or problems from the day they are born, but, that is an impossible task to take on. If you always look at your child as a "mini me" of yourself, you are taking away their own unique nature. You will miss out on how special they really are in their own right. You have to let them figure out some things on their own and hope they don't fall into the same problems you did. But, sometimes, they will.
Kiss a Boo-Boo, Not Fix It - When one of your children falls into something you had to deal with growing up, you want to fix it. You tell them all the things you did (or didn't) do to convince them to follow (or not) what you did in their situation. But, remember how I said in another blog that kids learn by their OWN mistakes and NOT YOURS?! They have to wait and see on some things in their lives because some things they won't believe anyway, until it happens. For instance, when a child falls and scrapes their knee for the first time, you know that scraped knees don't last, right?! But when they are small you don't say something like "You scraped your knee? It hurt? Well, that is nothing compared to real hurt you will have in your life. You will forget about this tomorrow". Instead, you take special care cleaning up the wound for them and shower them with love and tell them it will be okay, because you know that they aren't at that place in their life where they can accept the real truth anyway. As your kids grow, it's so amazing to see them learn at what seems is like a fast pace, that you may forget how much less experience they actually have in this life. Your expectations on what they can or can't handle might be all out of whack for where they are at that moment. So you have to be patient and wait. You kiss their "boo boos" and you love them and you are there for them while they learn to figure out things on their own.
Being a parent is an amazing and terrifying thing. No matter how old your kids get, you still never feel you know everything as a parent. You are learning right along with them about them, about yourself and about this life. One of the biggest things to learn to do is to forgive yourself for your past mistakes, so your kids will see and learn how to forgive themselves for theirs. So live your best life, so your kids can see and learn by example.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush --Associate Broker, Mother and Grandmother Photo Credit: NeONBRAND