“Let the wise also hear and gain in learning…” Proverbs 1:5
A few weeks ago, Jocelyn asked me what special treat I’d like her to make for my birthday. I told her I would LOVE a funfetti cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.
Her face fell, and she said, “We ALWAYS have that for birthdays. I want to make something else special for you.” I explained how much I love that cake, and since I don’t eat sugar often, I’d been looking forward to it for weeks.
She heard none of it, and argued with me for a full three minutes, trying to make me change my mind. She had some idea in her head and wanted to push it on me, even though it was MY birthday and should have been MY choice.
Don’t we all do this?
Don’t we all have these preconceived notions about what would make someone else happy? Don’t we try to push our agenda on others, thinking we have the greatest ideas, if they’d only look at things the way we do?
I think we moms are the most guilty in this department. We feel we know our kids best and have the hard-earned wisdom to know what’s in their best interest.
We force them into sports and activities we think align with their God-given talents. We impose certain structures on their day that we think will benefit them most. We expose them to things we think will shape their future for the better.
But where do we draw the line? Where do we stop so we give our kids new opportunities, yet let them choose their own path? Where do we push, but not too hard, so we teach them commitment and follow-through so they don’t become quitters at the first sign of difficulty?
I don’t think there’s one clear cut answer for all of us. I don’t even think there’s one clear cut answer for each scenario, never mind each child. We’re all different; our kids are all different too. Every situation has its own nuances.
I do think the answer lies in listening, whether it’s with our ears, or with our hearts. In order to truly listen, we need to set aside our own agendas and tune in to what our kids are really saying to us. Our Mother’s Intuition can only function properly when our filters aren’t clogged with our own expectations.
Fortunately for me, Jocelyn eventually laid hers aside and made me a funfetti cake. It was absolutely delicious, mostly because I could taste the love it took for her to let go of her vision for me, and let me decide.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I push my kids into things they don’t want, thinking I know best?
* Do I let go of my expectations so I can truly discern where to draw the line?