Yesterday I talked about the earth shattering discovery that my introverted temperament was, in fact, not a character flaw. Call me a late bloomer, but I’ve since learned that a number of my personality ‘issues’ aren’t actually issues at all. They are just the way that I’m woven together. I like the toilet seat down and all of the kitchen cabinet doors shut. I need to write in order to process my feelings. I have no physical coordination. I like watching fantasy films (Lord of the Rings anyone?). I do not have a competitive bone in my body. I hate board games, or as I like to call them ‘bored’ games.
As I began to find the freedom to know and love who I am, I began to feel a sense of fear that I would not be able to extend the same freedom to my children. I held very definite ideas about how I wanted them to behave, interact, excel. Remember that lovely little box I was living in? I wanted to make sure my children lived in lovely little boxes too, that is until I realized that no matter how hard I squished, pulled and prodded, they wouldn’t fit. One likes to be busy all.the.time. One is emotionally high maintenance (where did that come from?) One is a pessimist. They are who they are, and while I can shape them, I don’t want to break them. My children are not one size fits all, and neither are yours.
Have you found yourself raising an athlete when you wanted a scholar? A serious child when you wanted a silly one? A lover of mechanics instead of a lover of nature? Extend to them the hand of grace. They are still becoming, let them become who they are in a home where they can flourish in freedom not wither in weariness.
Do you struggle with letting your kids be themselves? What lovely little boxes have you kept them in?