There can be so much expectation and pressure to bring our children on in life. We want them to meet milestones and get ahead and develop as much as possible. We want our kids to reach their full potential and to experience as much happiness as possible.
Childhood takes time. When we rush this process we prevent the full development of this incredible human being from taking place.
Consider a flowering plant that is in the process of budding. The buds grow in size daily. Sometimes more noticeable than others but they definitely grow. And it is impossible to see, from the outside, whether they are developing as they should on the inside. All we can do is trust. We give the plant the water, light and food that it needs. We take care to prevent over-watering and we respond to any signs of disease or damage that might threaten it.
At exactly the right moment the buds open out into their full bloom. We cannot rush this process. We can only wait for nature to unfold. Nature rarely makes mistakes. Instead, she holds beautiful balance in structure, colour, purpose, interrelationship and timing.
Why do we seek to rush this very same process with our children? Some clients talk with me about their anxiety that their children might not fulfil their potential. Others share that they lack confidence that they are doing enough to raise the kinds of adults they will be proud to send out into the world.
Our reasons for trying to control the process of growing up are many and varied. Each of us has our own beliefs and stories that direct our decisions and choices. When I work with parents I help them unpick these stories and beliefs so that they can relax into the same confidence with which a gardener sits back to observe her garden.
When we take our focus off the bud we begin to see the details in the rest of the plant. We notice the strength of its stem or the intricacy of its leaf. We see that it responds to wind and rain with resilience and is able to increase its rate of growth in response to optimum conditions.
Take a step back and trust the process. Say Yes to who your child is as an individual. Say Yes to their interests, preferences, needs and desires. When your child comes into the fullness of themselves it will be extraordinarily beautiful.
Can you imagine what it might feel like to parent in this way? Consider the peace that you will have knowing that your child is doing exactly what they need to do at any moment in time. What will that confidence feel like, knowing that you are raising your children to be their absolute best?
When we feel confident and peaceful in our parenting it begins to impact every area of our lives. By trusting the process of childhood we begin to trust ourselves as parents. We no longer find ourselves putting up with niggles and frustrations because we understand what is behind them. When we have this understanding we can respond to it effectively. This strengthens our relationships with our children, with our partners and with our friends and family.