We are so lucky to have children to love and who love us…although mine are not children now but wonderful young people building wonderful young lives.
Parenting is such a gamble! There are always so many decisions involved. One or two might have the clarity of good wine; most are a minefield of sludge you have no hope of seeing through until it settles. There are periods where it feels like you have to make difficult decisions every second and although these decisions might come with the best of intentions the leap is akin to skydiving. Who knows what will happen and how things turn out.
Yet as you leap and our young people grow there are things you can do to minimise risk. You can remain respectful. Remain honest. Remain intuitive. Remain open and communicative. Remain committed.
And that means committed without control. Because as parents of young people it is not our role to coerce and control – if ever it was. Control does not contain respect.
Instead, offer guidance and support, but then step back and give young people the space to develop their own wisdom, take charge of their own lives and make their own decisions. And mistakes; for just like us, they will make mistakes and in doing so learn how to put them right – a type of wisdom that gives you a valuable tool right through life.
Our commitment and support, without control, will give them this. Our honesty, even when hard things have to be discussed, will teach them to be brave and honest. Our strength in confronting challenges and overcoming them will give them strength. And our confidence in stepping back, even when we are wavering ourselves over these decisions and wanting to keep control, will give them confidence.
Those are the best things you can give them. And are part of that which will help them create wonderful lives!