Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. – Maya Angelou
How many times have you heard (or even said), “I survived [spankings/punishment/hard work/not getting attention] as a child. So will they.”?
Countless I’d bet.
It’s the common response anytime compassionate, mindful, organic parents talk about the alternatives they’ve found to control, coercion, and hurtfulness of children.
We all want the best for our children. Our ideas of how to provide that are obviously radically different than the mainstream.
But more than our ideas of how to provide the best for our kids, it seems like many parents have a deep resistance toward providing for our kids the things they didn’t have.
Oh not the “stuff”…lots of parents can easily provide more stuff than they had.
But so few are ready to provide in deeper ways.
So few are comfortable providing more love, more affection and attention, more respect, more honor, more dignity, more autonomy.
Is it because we simply don’t know how?
Or is it because to provide our kids with more of those things means first admit that we didn’t receive it ourselves?
It’s not an easy pill to swallow, that you may have been intentionally and unnecessarily hurt and lied to as a child. That your deeper human needs were not met. That you were made to feel as though your feelings, your ideas, your desires were less important than anyone else’s.
Shit. It’s downright unfair. After all, if we went through it, shouldn’t they have to?
Because “Dammit! It’s MY TURN to finally feel in control!”
“Oh please. I survived.”
And is that all you want for your child: Survival?
Or do they deserve to thrive?
I’m inclined to agree with Maya Angelou up there…just because we didn’t know there was an alternative doesn’t mean it was good for us, doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for our kids.