Mistakes We Make
The other day while sipping on a latte, collecting my thoughts and refocusing on my business plan, I was invited into a heated conversation with two sisters. The conversation started off by the older sibling asking me this question. Do you have children? How many mistakes do you allow them to make before enough is enough? After hearing their views on parenting, culture and religion, it got me to thinking about my parenting journey.
For years, I was that mom who worried about everything to do with my children. I worried about their safety, education, relationships, decisions, health, emotions, goals, actions, and whether their relationship with God will remain a priority in life. I wondered if everything that I had instilled in them as children would stick as adults.
Although the sisters agreed to disagree on their individual parenting styles, what remained the same for both is that they did not want their children to repeat their mistakes.
The older sister is a single, financially successful lawyer with 3 daughter’s (16, 18, 20 yrs) and the younger sister is married to a financially successful optometrist and a stay at home mom of twin boys (15 yrs). As I listened to them tell the other why they was the better parent, it got me thinking. I said, “being financially stable, praying with them daily, and adhering to ones culture does not warrant the best parent award. What warrants the best parent award is knowing that as parents, you have worked hard to instill the very best in your children. What they do with the knowledge as adults is totally up to them. As I spoke this, it also resignated with my spirit.
As parents, we can become consumed with trying to make our children perfect robots, that we do not allow them the space to make mistakes. While some mistakes are less forgiven then others, they are opportunities for our children to learn and grow. When I think about all of my mistakes, and life lessons, I can’t help but be thankful for the room I had to make them and all that I learned.
Towards the end of the conversation, the sisters shared that they was high school drop outs, one smuggled drugs to other countries by car, the other smuggled money. They admitted that they enjoyed the rush of it all but was happy when their parents relocated to a new country in their late teens to start over. Also, what peaked the conversation is that 2 out of the 5 cousins continue to have minor bouts with the law.
Unfortunately, we cannot control their every action, but we can control how we respond to it. Prayer works for me!
Mom of adults