becomes a toddler who makes it known that they also have a
will and desire of their very own, separate from that of the
parent. This can be the beginning of a beautiful dance of
reflection and guidance or a battle cry that can lead to civil war
for years to come. It all depends upon the stance of the parent.
I have participated in both.
Carl Jung once said, “The greatest burden a child must
bear is the unlived life of the parent. I would add to this
statement “or a parent’s burning desire for a repeat
performance.” My greatest moments of heartbreak as mom
have come when something that is dear to me has been
rejected by one of my children. When this happens, I need to
acknowledge the pain, grieve the loss, and then make peace
within myself.
I believe that the all too familiar adolescent cry of “you
just don’t get me/understand me” is a deep shout out to the
parental heart to “please just see me for who I am and be
delighted in who I am becoming even though, and especially
when, I walk a path different from one that you, my parent,
might choose”. Does this mean that we will not correct, teach,
and pass along our values? No. But it does mean that we will
be attuned and in tune with who our children are at their very
core their soul and encourage them to become their truest
For me, fear is almost always one of the hurdles in the
way of accepting my children just as they are at any given time.
At times like these, I remember the words, “there is no fear in
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