Freetoend the Fear and Anxiety in Parenting

Yeah, I am calling for a moratorium, a huge death to transpire and for myself the most, because I know myself and no one else the best.  I can fix my own thoughts the most and not as much the thoughts of others.  I can influence, but I must have strategy in doing so.  I will learn, I have learned, I am learning.  I have lived in fear for too long in my parenting.  I have six kids in which I want to love and influence, but yet again, the desire is to do so with some serious strategical forethought.  And these thoughts I extend to you.  

And the truth unabashedly, but embarrassingly is that I am afraid that my kids are going to grow up and get messed up or be messed up.   I worry.  I have anxiety.  I want to control everything they do, where they go and what they say and how they live.  I know I don't give myself enough credit because I have in a lot of ways overcome some of that type of control.  I now understand that I must help protect, teach and guide my kids instead of being bent on controlling them.  I know those aspects of parenting should never stop ever or some of my kids will be messed up I think.  Well, I think I know that to be true, given what I have seen with my own eyes, not yours, but mine.  But there it is.  The truth.  I am oh, so worried and I watch too much news and those two ingredients don't mix well.

My biggest misunderstanding in life is that if my kids witness evil, what evil is, what evil people do, the evil that may be in certain elements of life, then they will become evil.  And the reality is that kids are born needing to obtain knowledge on all levels which as they age should become wisdom, or knowledge with a passionate brain attached to it.  In classical education we call this thought process the grammar phase(obtaining loads of rote information or knowledge) passing over into the logic and rhetoric phase of thinking, the stage where knowledge and critical thinking collide.  So, kids need to obtain knowledge, and guess what?  They are obtaining knowledge every day in all sorts of ways from all sorts of people.  I am simply amazed at the conversations my kids can remember that I have had with other people...good and also damning conversations alike much to my chagrin.  I am also quite amazed at their recollection of the things that other people say and do.  It's all going into the portal of their brains.  It's all knowledge...good, bad, actions or words, well, just anything that contributes to their input process.  It's all going in. 

We can control what's going in their heads and that's good on certain levels.  I don't want my five year old seeing anyone's head getting chopped off on television and I don't want my thirteen year old son to see people having sex.  We as parents should set up healthy boundaries for our kids, but that I don't think that is enough or that it will ever be enough.  Making rules, laws and regulations for kids alone will never mean much to them if the process of obtaining and receiving knowledge never translates into honest, passionate critical thinking on their own part and for themselves and I mean before they are forced into that position when they leave home. 

I'll never understand parents who rule their kids with the rod of iron expecting them never to question their authority, expecting their kids as they grow through life to never become their own person or critically think on their own.  They keep themselves at a frightening distance from their kids in the interconnected world of knowledge and critical thinking.   

In a lot of ways I was one of these kids, handed a bunch of rules and regulations that I was to never question and made to obey them and never taught how to critically think for myself.  I'll tell you, that has made me a follower in the past to almost anything people would say and do in my family's circle and the damage is still to this day ongoing and needing to be purged.  It really is flat out dangerous to extend knowledge to your kids without eventually handing out the ability and understanding to pursue passionate, honest rhetoric and logic.  We are simply setting ourselves up for a lifetime of sadness with our kids as parents when we wake up and our kids walk away from half or more or all of the knowledge we ever gave them.  And it doesn't matter how helpful, common sense or good anything we ever taught them, the likelihood is high that they will walk away from it if we do not teach them to walk through the honest process of making those thoughts their very own.  And when they honestly walk through those things we imparted to them, and they then honestly do not adopt them, then we as parents have but one thing to do.  Accept.  Accept and live how you are led to live yourself and love...love...love your kids.

Love, grace, understanding and acceptance out poured to our children during the passing from the knowledge phase to the critical thinking phase means the world in this process of raising our kids.

You want to pass on your faith in God and Jesus Christ and you want them to come to a place of honest acceptance?  Offer your thoughts, offer your desires, offer your knowledge, offer your passion, offer your heart on the matter, then sit back and let the kids ask questions, tell them what you DON'T know.  Listen and listen and listen some more and talk and talk about anything they want to and never ever deter honest emotion, thought or question from your kids...absolutely NEVER.  Let them hash it out.  Let them hash out anything they need to. 

You want your kids to never take drugs or whatever...you fill in the bazillion blanks?  Share your knowledge and your raw personal experience.  YOUR RAW OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE being shared is absolutely vital.  My kids have perked up often and listened to me when I said...I did this, I said this, I experienced this myself when this happened.  They not only think it's great (meaning...mom, I can RELATE to you, you are SO relatable instead being unapproachable and untouchable) that I seriously messed up in life, these are the times when they really listen to me. 

So we all need to relax a bit, I need to relax.  Because the reality is...stuff happens.  Lot's of stuff.  And for me as a kid growing up with all the rules I had in my house and despite having the ability to critically think for myself because we NEVER just talked about stuff, we never could ask questions on the level a kid needs to ask questions...I still overcame a lot of things, I still am overcoming things and will continue to overcome things because I am learning and not afraid at this point to learn from anyone or anything that I can learn from. 

And it's not over for me because I now see that I am freetothink.  It's not over for you if you see that you, too, are able to pursue truth and error and the wide world over with honesty, passion and logical forethought.  And it's not over for your kids.  But it could be.  It could be over for all of us if we don't learn to use our brains for ourselves no matter how many rules we think we are keeping to make others think that we've got it all together.  It will never be enough.  Never. 

1 comment:

shadowspring said...

Your kids will definitely make some bad decisions along the way. It's a part of living that can't be avoided. Determine to love always, be there to help if they ask (talking older teens and young adults here), and try to avoid saying "I told you so." when applicable because they hear you saying it in their heads already. <3 <3 <3