Every generation has different beliefs, different passions, and different lifestyle choices. We’re seeing this right now, with the way that younger generations look at issues like work, LGBTQ+ acceptance, politics, and so much more, and how very different these beliefs are than those of the generations beforehand.
As you raise your child, you’re going to notice different beliefs, priorities, and values in your children. You may even instinctually want to change them. But while you can try to teach lessons to your children and you can attempt to make sure that they have good morals and logical capabilities, it’s important to remember that your child is not you.
Children Become Their Own Adults
Children do not typically enter adulthood with the same values and priorities as their parents. That’s also, often, a good thing. As much as we may feel as though we know what’s right, our values and beliefs were often shaped by the time period we grew up. Now, the world is different, and typically we want our children to have an understanding of those differences that we do not have.
It’s important to not try to impose our feelings and thoughts onto our children. One reason, of course, is that our beliefs and values may be wrong. But another reason is because our desire to impose those values typically is based on us trying to fulfill our own needs. We want our children to “take after us” as though our legacy lives on with them, and we want our children to follow specific paths because we did or did not follow them.
But kids are not carbon copies of us. They’re their own unique individuals, growing up in a time that is much different than the one we grew up in.
Advice is Helpful – Forced Direction is Not
Certainly when there is concern about safety, or you think they may have made a decision that are harmful to them, it makes sense to intervene and offer guidance. That’s part of parenting. But many times, when the issues are related to things that are not harmful – just different – then most of the time the best thing to do is be accepting, stay silent, and allow your children to grow up making their own decisions.
Sometimes, they’ll make mistakes. That’s okay. Hopefully, they’ll learn from them. Other times, they’re making the best decisions for themselves, and it is your beliefs that are in the wrong. Learning to let go and allow your child room to be themselves can be difficult, but it is frequently the right decision for them and for you.