with Talyaa Liera
I'm Talyaa, the poster child for the concept that there's no one right way to be a parent. I went from stay-at-home attachment-parenting mom of four to being the non-custodial parent, working as a professional writer and channel-psychic. Let's talk about throwing away the parenting manual and exploding the myths and mystique of motherhood!
Check out my personal blog at Juxtapositioning.
As parents, we walk a thin red line of responsibility. Suddenly becoming a small weak adorable being’s whole world is a wake-up call of sorts. Sleep in on a Sunday morning? Not so fast, bucko — there’s diapers to change, 4am feedings, or just plain crying-for-no-earthly-reason. And when that goes away, there is the sweetness of small feet padding in to the parental bedroom, a small warm body looking for comfort, the Sunday morning pancake ritual. Or early morning ferrying to cross country meets, basketball games, soccer practice. As parents we willingly make the shift from beer bong to Baby Bjorn. We do this from love. We do this because it is the right thing to do. And that’s as it should be, right?
Yes and no.
I think we go too far.
I may just be speaking for myself, but I think that we have lost our ability to remember the inherent wisdom our children possess. While on the one hand I fully believe, for example, that children do not possess the ability to know if their bodies are cold until about the age of seven (and therefore it’s our job to insist that they are dressed warmly enough, even if they claim they are warm), on the other hand I believe that we fail to trust our children’s inner compasses and knowingness.
That’s where the thin red line of responsibility comes in. If we insist on doing and being for our children, overriding their natural capabilities, we run the risk of becoming embroiled in responsibility and losing ourselves in the process. Helicoptering. Empty nest syndrome. A wounded, grieving Demeter. The over parenting phenomena.
And our children grow up unable to do for themselves. The very opposite of what we wish for them.
We are too involved in their sports. We build too-safe playgrounds. We infiltrate ourselves into our children’s lives, leaving them little room to grow, to nurture their own hearts, to become who they are on a deep level. Instead, they are left to respond to what we wish for them, as heart-filled as that might be.
How can we fix this? I don’t advocate that every parent move 3000 miles away from their children to give them the necessary room to become themselves, as I did, but can’t we give our children more breathing room from up close? I believe that if we begin to examine our motivations and fears around over parenting, we begin to understand that we hold to that red line of responsibility not so much for our children as for ourselves. Through parenting we affirm ourselves. But at what risk?
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
~~Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet
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