Build Your Children’s Souls—Not Your Personal Goals
I have no credentials to be writing an article about parenting other than being one, so please feel free to disregard this if it doesn’t make sense to any of you mothers out there. It seems to me that mothering is one of the most difficult, but important tasks in the world, and I am certainly not claiming to be any kind of expert, all I know is that in coming to this very simple realization I am sure I am happier, my children are happier, and most importantly they are going to grow up to be far more sensible, happy and well adjusted adults than they would have if I hadn’t discovered it.
I was very dedicated at school, both academically and in the sporting pursuits. Basically, I brought into the whole idea of being successful – I wanted to do well and ultimately win and succeed at everything I did. Success supposedly opens many more doors and options; you feel better about yourself and ultimately, success leads to being able to live the life that you want to lead. The quest for ‘success’, certainly in my case anyway, meant dedication, hard work and most importantly a strong will to succeed.
I was 34 when I had my first child, and by then I had a finely-tuned driven outlook on life and that is how I went about parenting, not only trying to be as successful at it as I could, but trying to instill this same success driven, work-ethic into my young child. I thought I would home school my children and give them a huge head-start to success in their lives. I thought that by encouraging success, I was giving my children the very best start I possibly could. After all, that is what my parents instilled into me.
As surprising as it sounds (and don’t worry, it took a bit of swallowing from me at the time!) it was my mother in law that opened my eyes to what it is that children really want. Security for their fragile little trusting souls (An interesting article here http://www.worldtransformation.com/soul/ discusses the importance of our human soul). She just quietly sat me down one day and told me straight, that what builds a child’s soul is real time and attention from their mother. And she was quick to follow that with, ‘they don’t want a mother that takes them to all kinds of places keeping them constantly busy with all kinds of activities, or necessarily gives them all kinds of outlandish opportunities. And they don’t want mothers that are basically their slaves and follow their children around at their beck and call. They simply want time with their mothers, they want interaction with them with good firm boundaries. They want their mother to tell them stories about her life, or read them nice story books, or play games with them and teach them things.’ Real contact, real discussion, real one on one time. Special time. Secure, soul building time.
Yes, I was all geared up to take my children through early learning courses, take them to extra curricular activities every day, fine tune their talents, give them every opportunity that I could possibly give them. But now I realize adults worry about all those things and sure, one day my children will need to succeed and will need to be able to fight in a world that, lets face it, is extremely tough and competitive. But I can see very clearly with both my young children, they just want time with me simply being allowed to be children, and to be honest, it is extremely fun and hugely rewarding to just play with your own children without having expectations on how well they are doing or not doing, totally preoccupied with their futures. They are much more happy and settled when I am settled and am able to give their little souls the love they need. Whatever challenges life throws them, one thing I know for sure, they will be better able to deal with them if they have a strong soul.