Before having kids I knew I was going to love and nurture my kids into being great people. I knew my job as the mom of my little humans was to protect them and guide them. As my kids got older I continued to do what I considered to be guiding them. I admonished their decisions when they made poor ones and I praised their good decisions. But I also wanted them to do what I told them to do when I asked them to. Very rarely would I consider their opinions on anything. I tried to give them a voice but in my mind I felt I knew better and that my way was best. At the time they usually lost out because I as the adult would overrule them. On occasion they would win. But I will admit it wasn’t very often at all.
Now that they are adults I am realizing I need to redefine the way I interact and approach them when they are making their own decisions. No longer is it my way or the high way because they no longer have to take my opinion into account. I mean they do but ultimately it’s their decision as to what they want to do. I don’t have the final answer anymore. Recently the fact that I no longer have that power with a recent discussion between my daughter and I. She has brought up in recent discussion that whenever she tells me she wants to do something that most times instead of fully listening to her and supporting her I will cut her off and overrule her and tell her what I want her to do. At first I really wanted to deny what she said. But as I thought about a number of situations where she has tried to do what she wanted I realized that at the end she did do what I wanted. I found myself remembering more times of me barking at her more than actually talking to her. I have even found myself doing this with her brother. She recently had a medical situation. I was trying to tell her how she should handle it without going to see a doctor. I was telling her that she simply needed to take her meds and she would be fine. She felt she needed to go to the doctor. Finally I was like you know what if you don’t want to listen to me then don’t. She decided to go ahead and go to the doctor. I am glad she did because if she hadn’t there could have been different results.
What’s crazy is that I have been in their position before. I have felt the exact same way many times in my life. Yet here I was making them feel that way. I made them feel unheard and bullied. I had vowed many times that I would never make my kids feel that way but here I am making them feel exactly that way. Especially my daughter. I think I see her making some of the same mistakes I made and I just want to catch the, before she does. I guess I need to realize she isn’t me. She could handle things way differently than I did when I dealt with them. I also see her making decisions that I wouldn’t want her to make and then I just fuss at her. I realize I am trying to control her destiny and I can’t. No matter how much I try to control it. She is going to go her own way and make her own decisions. I am ashamed that she even had to point this out to me.
Once she told me that she needed the extra help that she got. I realized that I really do need to start supporting my children’s opinions and decisions more. They are adults now they don’t need me to guide and hold their hands. I need to learn to give advice only when I am asked for it. I don’t need to have my hand in what they are doing. I don’t have to approve of what they are doing. Sometimes all they need is my support. They don’t need me to control their every move. They are fully capable of doing what it is they need to do. Plus if they fall I can help them back up if they want me to. So I guess it’s time to retire or shall I say relinquish control over their lives. So that I can improve my relationship with my kids and not push them away. It’s time that I try listening to my kids rather than always trying to sway them to go my way. I should also try asking if I can make another suggestion. Anything rather than to make them feel like I don’t care about their thoughts. I intend to try to show them that I do care and that I support them. It’s going to be hard because I tend to always want to be heard myself. But yeah it’s time to change my way of thinking and stop trying to control them.