Assumption Kills Parent Child Relationships
A year ago, a parent decided to visit my website and peruse the articles. I guess someone had mentioned he might find the stories helpful. The only problem – he tends to make everything about himself. So, stories which had nothing to do with him which I had written from my own truth and experiences became all about him. I learned a valid lesson: assumption kills parent child relationships.
When People Do Not Change How They Treat or See You
While I tend to be a realist, I see life and navigate life as it is (or at least as far as I am able to see), I can’t help, but hope when I am interacting and setting strong boundaries with difficult people that perhaps TIME and distance will help them see the need and be ABLE to change.
There is something to be said for being ABLE.
Seriously if you haven’t tried being ABLE – peruse it.
In this specific situation and many extended places being ABLE doesn’t happen. This is the reality we live with daily.
To be honest for most older adults who just know change does not happen.
I am sorry if you were waiting for me to offer you hope that people will be ABLE to be different with you.
If you are expecting for them to suddenly see the light and then shift HOW they choose to treat you – you should let it go. I don’t have a percentage on this, but from what I have experienced the likelihood a “wise grownup” is going to change their patterns of behavior … frankly it isn’t going to happen. Nope.
The probability is slim.
What Can We Learn About This For Ourselves?
I think I have learned how to not get stuck with my kids – I stop assuming I know it all. It can be easy as parents to believe simply because we had a great relationship when they were four or eight that NOW when they are teenagers or adults – we know them.
We have them all figured out is a horribly inaccurate assumption. And it is a dangerous assumption to make.
I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years. I AM NOT AN EXPERT. There are no parenting experts.
As a mother of five I need to be reintroduced to my developing children on a weekly basis. They are changing and growing so quickly if I live in nostalgia or bank my understanding of them from a decade ago I might completely miss WHO they have become NOW.
- Who they love NOW
- How they express their hurt NOW
- Who they admire NOW
- The skills they are developing NOW
- The dreams they have NOW
- What they believe to be true of themselves, and me, and the world NOW
Their heart spaces change so quickly. What a child valued during childhood and what a grown “child” values NOW are two very different things. Heck, they might actually eat broccoli NOW. They might have a ticklish spot you never knew about… TMI?
All we have is now.
There is a NOW with our kids, teens, adult kids we can miss when we aren’t paying attention, or forget to lean in to them daily.
While we are busy “adulting” our children are busy growing, learning, changing, and becoming.
I always hope to be present for their becoming, but sometimes as parents we spend so much time in our own headspace we miss our kids becoming.
I refuse to miss it: their becoming.
But I know I need to choose to be emotionally and spiritually present for them; being physical present and financially present are NOT ENOUGH.
The Essential How
In our house, even though we spend so much time together it becomes essential in the weekly routine to set aside time to listen to them well. We do this – checking in with each other – for our marriage DAILY because the DAILY checking in is important for us.
Also our kids need us to check in with them often too. I am not always good at this – there are five of them. I have been outnumbered for years. And the things we require to function in this house… well someone has to keep track of the functioning. However, one afternoon of undivided attention a week, or one Saturday morning breakfast out alone or one Friday grocery trip just the two of us or daily conversations instead of electronic everything is not going to set the necessary, essential things off track.
Our children are very much a part of the essentials. If they aren’t an essential part of our family, they should be.
And the question is: Do our kids feel like they are an essential, important part of our families?
Have we been brave enough to even ask HOW they feel among us?
We can spend all our time making the money to provide the things we miss the foundation materials needed to deeply know our kids: time, active listening, emotional availability, and being a safe place for them to speak their truth.
I become this for them by refusing to assume I know what they are going to say, what/who/how they love, or who they are.
I refuse to assume I know who they are simply because they are my kids.
And when I ask the right questions of them I draw them out and understand them better – daily.
I never reach a level of fully knowing it all with my kids.
When I get to that place – where I JUST KNOW BECAUSE I AM THE PARENT – I need to hit the reset and try again.
The best part of the journey with them thus far has been the discovery of WHO they are in the midst of their becoming.
Discovery and assumption cannot coexist because assumption kills parent child relationships.