Accepting Our Children (Part 1 – When They’re Adults)
Becoming a parent is one of the most significant, rewarding, and challenging roles a person can take on in life. As adults we pour so much of ourselves into raising our children, it can be hard not to view them as extensions of ourselves—our values, thoughts, outlook… But, what happens when the vision we hold for our children doesn’t match the reality of who they are or who they wish to become?
Recently, while leading a Parentology Course, I met a woman who had been struggling with accepting the choices of two of her adult daughters. After graduating from university, both chose to work as waitresses instead of going into professions in line with their degrees. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a waitress, but after having financed her daughters’ university educations, the mother expected and hoped they would choose something else.
As she went through the experience of the course, it became clear to her that if she did not make a choice to let go of her original vision for her daughters’, their relationships would be at stake. So, as you might imagine, put in that light, the choice became easy—to accept and move on.
What I have learned over the years both as a parent and as a coach is that when we love our children, accept them for who they are, and respect their choices, the relationships we hold with them are naturally strong. However, if children feel judged or not accepted, they may continue what they are doing out of spite even if the original choice they made no longer suits them. The mother with whom I was speaking realized that it would be impossible to build a healthy family relationship while at the same time having an agenda of “fixing” her daughters choice in professions. Rather what she needed was to accept and love them unconditionally in order to rebuild their trust.
While today I have highlighted an example of accepting children’s decisions at older ages, the same philosophy applies to younger ones as well. I will talk about that in my next post!
Gonan is the originator of the philosophies behind Gozamm, the home of the Parentology, Trust and Open Heart workshops. An industry thought-leader and a perennial innovator, Gonan is setting trends in the realms of families and business worldwide. Her eclectic background; being born in Turkey, married to a Swede, having lived in the Middle East for 25 years and now living in California, she truly brings a new dynamic perspective to an important field. -- view all articles