According to Marianne Williamson, people are brought together in relationship for maximum learning opportunities. If this is so, then I look to what I can learn from each relationship.
As a Kindergarten teacher, and as a young adult, I learned that every action is either loving or a call for love. Five and six year olds not only demonstrate this well, but they respond immediately and accordingly. Something seems to happen to us over time to change this, and it has been my intent to continue to work at remembering this, and coming back to it.
For this reason and because the relationships that matter the most to me are with the ones that I spend my daily life, I will briefly outline a part of my relationship with my teens, as these encounters tend to hurl me into said learning opportunities.
Those of you who live with teenagers know, that as parents, we must bite our tongue, a lot. It is not my job to make my children’s decisions for them, but to guide them while they make their decisions. The greatest challenge I have, is in stifling my elation when I feel that my child has made a choice that is fully inline with what I would choose, because this in turn, will lead to rewards for behaving as I would behave and possibly encourage them to be people pleasers instead of following their own intuition.
I am thrilled when my sixteen year old walks in after school and diligently gets down to any homework that he may have, because it makes that wee part of my parenting job easier. However, what about when he chooses to spend an evening with his girlfriend and miss out on an outdoor pick up hockey game with his friends? I want him to enjoy his youth and not delve into an intimate relationship early, and then I remember, it is just that, his life. As a parent, I have to catch myself not replaying or reliving my youth through my children, and to let them make their choices, live by the consequences, and move forward with the hope that they have learned something from those choices. Does this mean that I will not guide them? No, but it is in the biting of my tongue, the careful questioning, the teaching of trusting one’s intuition and in the responsibility surrounding a choice that I think, offers them the greatest guidance.