Saturday, May 12, 2012

Granting children the permission to be themselves

Countless childrens books and parenting books tout the importance of letting each child be themself. They discuss the importance of allowing a child to be who they are, explore their interests and talents, and express their feelings in the way that feels "right." Young children still need some guidance, but it takes a parent stopping and listening to really know who their child is and is becoming.

The last three years I've watched my oldest blossom into the person he is becoming. He is outgoing, sweet, inquisitive, soft-hearted, and (not but) also strong-willed, active, loud, and more of a talker than a listener.

He has become a second set of hands for me and an eager helper.

And as time goes on, I hope I can take the time to really "know" my kids. I want to give them permission to be who they are and tell me what they think, even if we don't agree. I want to be supportive of the ambitious and trivial pursuits. And the same person to them in public as I am in private.

Looking back at my own life, it's especially important to me. Because I wish I'd had the same permission.

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