Dancing in the Rain
by Naomi Aldort, Author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
Instead of teaching children to fight the storm,
let them learn to dance in the rain.
Do you tell your parents things they are bewildered by and have no idea what you are talking about? It is very sobering to come out of many years of parenting and have your adult kids tell you things you weren’t aware of. Yet, one day your sons and daughters will surprise you with their feedback, specially if they feel free to self-express.
My sons are adults. Their feedback and who they are is a colossal lesson in humility. Parents can devote their soul to being the best parent they can be with …
passion, love and huge amount of devotion, time/work, and then, the child grows and tells us how “the ride” was for them and it rarely fits with the parent’s experience.
This awakening has gotten me on new soul searches and new findings that keep me growing. No parents are perfect and no one turns out without emotional issues. I have asked each and every audience group, “Who had perfect parents,” and, “Who of you has no emotional issues?”
In six weeks, of six countries and many events, one person claimed to have had perfect parents. No one claimed to be free of issues; serious issues, even when parents were loving, devoted, and wonderful. The one person who claimed to have perfect parents probably let go of that idea by the time the event ended. He/she just meant that they were loving and he appreciates their care. (This is more of a testimony to his own ability to see them this way.) However, for some, seeing parents as flawless is… yes, an emotional issue of needing to be right and be better and shinier than others. Not a small issue to overcome.
Why would anyone expect to be the first parent in history to produce a flawless happy… thriving, kind…. human being? It is not going to happen. Instead we can focus on children who grow up having the tools to use their issues for self-realization, for growth, love and connection. Its our grist for the mill of being alive. In fact, a “flawless happy person” is likely to have a hard time understanding the rest of us or getting along with human beings.
When asked, “Then what should we commit to as parents,” I suggest that the greatest value is in working on ourselves to become someone worth learning from and modeling the power of embracing life rather than avoiding it’s challenges.
Powerful and resourceful people are not those that manage to exclude the uncomfortable, painful or risky, but those who engage with life fully and fearlessly. When we teach children to avoid the storm, they become fearful and live by avoidance and exclusion. When we join their natural inclination to dance in the rain, we all get exuberantly wet.
©Copyright Naomi Aldort
Naomi Aldort is the author of, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves and of hundreds of internationally published parenting advice columns and articles. For free newsletter, teleclasses, CDs, articles, personal and family phone sessions and speaking engagements: www.AuthenticParent.com