Monday, July 19, 2010

I was thinking recently about what I want for my children. What are my goals in parenting them?

Of course I want them to be well behaved(not stepford kids,just nicely behaved), contributing members of society- but I also want them to be joyful.

Part of them being joyful includes allowing them to explore their curiosity, nurture their inquisitiveness, and fostering their authentic selves.

I do not want my children to 'make me happy'; I want them to be happy. I do not want them to do anything just to make me happy. That is a slippery slope to get on: to start people pleasing.

To be sure-they will irritate me, and frustrate me along the way, and I accept that. We are individuals, we will not always agree.

I want them to be self motivated, to be proud of themselves, not to seek others approval. Here I am, as an adult parent, still seeking my parents approval. Still wanting to know if they are proud of me- and that is not helpful. If I were better at intrinsic motivation I would be a healthier individual.

To accomplish this I try and remember to comment not on how proud of the I am (that is obvious)but to praise their effort, to tell them they should be proud of themselves. I also let them hear me talking about them in a good light. Telling people how hard they worked or how curious they are.

Thus far we seem to be doing okay.

Their eyes light up when they smile, they are themselves and I love them for that.


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