Your Children Are Not Your Children, They Are Sons and Daughters of Life
As parents, many of us have this idea that our children belong to us like they are our property, and we overprotect them to the point of preventing them from being themselves.
Avoiding overprotection can help our children unfold in life. They’ll know how to solve their own problems, and when they make mistakes they’ll learn from them.
We parents usually have an instinct to want to keep our children from going down a path that we believe does not suit them. We strive to blaze the path for them so they can make the fewest mistakes.
But mistakes are part of their lives and experiences and will change and shape them into independent and self-sufficient beings. Slowing that down slows down the course of their lives.
A message from Khalil Gibran
The Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran, in his book The Prophet, explains the following passage about a woman who asks the prophet to speak about children:
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but are not yours.
And even if they live with you, they do not belong to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
because they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the mansion of the morning
that you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but do not try to
make them like you.
Because life does not go backwards, nor does it linger with yesterday.
You are the bows with which your children, the living
arrows, are released.
The archer sees the target upon the path of the infinite, and he,
with his power, will assist you, so their arrows can
fly fast and far.
The tension the archer’s hand will cause you is your joy;
as much as he loves the arrow that flies, he also loves
the arch that stands still. “
We are children of life
Sometimes we want our children to have everything that we didn’t have, and do not want them to make the same mistakes we did.
This is done as a means of protection, thinking that it is the best thing for those defenseless beings who are our children. However, we are not realizing that they have the right to take charge of their lives.
They are entitled to make decisions that will force them to go through difficult situations where they are able to see the consequences of each action. Parental support is important provided it is not too overbearing, or limits the actions of their children.
We do not belong to anyone and no one can have experiences for us. We are children of life itself, to which we deliver ourselves, with its benefits and difficulties in order to form our own identity.
As parents we facilitate the freedom of our children
We unknowingly pass many of our behaviors, our fears and thoughts on to our children. The way we love, relate to the world and communicate are aspects that are too important not to be taken into account.
It is of vital importance to be aware of the messages we send them because many of these messages are processed unconsciously. It must be done in a way in which they can determine their behavior, attitude and way of being in life.
We are a mere tool for our children to grow and develop as free, healthy and happy individuals. Supporting them throughout the process, without intending to fulfill our dreams and expectations.
In that way, we can show we really love them unconditionally by allowing them to explore their essence and choose their own path. All this without pressure or demands that inhibit their freedom and the expression of their needs.
Thus, we have the opportunity to observe the flow of life, where every being, by the fact of being loved, is able to offer the best of himself or herself. Respecting their own vital process, without the fear of having new experiences and giving into love.