The other day I was thinking back to the times where I would believe and follow everything my parents told me. I would willingly agree with everything they said…no questions asked. I remember my father once told me that putting petrol in a car makes it grow. I honestly believed that for a few years. I remember intently watching the other cars at the petrol station to see if they doubled in size. [They never did]. But that just shows that when we are young our parents had the power to say anything to us and in our naivety we would often accept.
But I can remember the times when I started challenging my parent’s views. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens. I guess my increased independence and growing intellect gave me the confidence to question them. I was never disrespectful but I was challenging. At times I felt rebellious and I was sometimes branded as a disobedient child. But in my defense I feel like I was just trying to develop as a person. I was exploring all the different views I had and because of my intuitive nature I couldn’t just take everything at face value.
But as I sit here this afternoon and reflect on my ‘rebellion’ I can see that there were some benefits to challenging my parents. I honestly believe that during those years I was creating the foundation for me to become a strong minded and ambitious woman. [I hope my parents can agree too]. I feel that through questioning my parents helped me to cement my beliefs even more. I learnt more. I explored my thoughts and ideas more and now I feel confident in the things I believe.
So with this in mind and my impending motherhood I thought about the future dynamics of my relationship with my daughter. I want there to be freedom of expression between us. I want her to openly discuss things that concern her. I want her to challenge my views with logical and well formed arguments. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want her to be rebellious without reason, but nor do I want her to blindly accept everything I tell her. Quite frankly, I want to raise a woman that is strong minded, driven and confident!
But to achieve this, the practice must start at home and that’s why I cannot let my pride get in the way. I must learn to put aside my emotions in times when she’ll prove me wrong. This is where I envision the challenge will be. As a mother I can imagine you feel all knowledgeable and all powerful over your offspring. I guess you feel that because you carried them for 9 months you have the right to dictate every aspect of their life. But I think we forget that we are primarily human beings; with our own goals, dreams and purpose. That’s why I believe it is important as a parent to encourage your children to fulfill each of these.
I envision that the most precious moments of motherhood will be allowing my daughter to teach me in areas where I fall short. I don’t have all the answers and yes I may get things wrong but I can only hope and pray that God gives me the wisdom and strength to be the best mother that I can be.
Are there any mothers that can relate? How do you feel when your children challenge your views? And what do you think about this kind of parenting style?