There are parents that know who their children are and there are parents who quite frankly, do not have a clue. What’s your child’s favorite color? What’s her best friend’s dog’s name? What subject does your son have fourth period on Tuesdays?
Children are gifts from God and should be enjoyed, cherished, nurtured, loved and guided. Guided to learn right from wrong, taught to respect one self and others and gently molded into compassionate and independent adults.
Too often, guardians fail to know who their children are and what they are about. Today’s focus is on parents who are failing because they care more about what they want, rather than who their children truly are or want to be.
Growing children speak freely, sometimes too freely, but this is the honesty and genuine sincerity some adults today should practice. Listening to your child helps you learn, understand and create an everlasting bond together.
A dad was shoe shopping with his son. As the young man browsed the shop his eyes widened upon entering the second aisle of shoes. He reached out quickly snagging a box from the second row. The lo-cut sneaker was just what he wanted and a perfect fit also. Excitedly, he modeled them for his dad and expressed his want to purchase them. A successful shopping trip! Wait, not so quickly.
Dad did not verbally say he did not like his son’s choice, but his actions certainly spoke for him. For the next 15 minutes, the father attempted to lure his son into liking a different style shoe. A hi-top shoe, one he viewed as “cool”, one he wore nearly 35 years ago when he was his son’s age.
For each new shoe the father suggested, the son recounted how the sneakers he wanted were a perfect size and the colors, a basic black and white pattern, were what he liked to wear. Instead, dad shopped on and eventually the son was defeated.
The story ends with the son exiting the store holding a style of sneaker he didn’t feel comfortable wearing, did not chose, and didn’t even fit properly. The only one happy with the purchase was dad who felt proud to have a son wearing such shoes. “You will grow into them,” dad said.
Honestly, the son didn’t even need to accompany his father to the store that day. Dad embarked with a predetermined purchase in mind and failed to capitalize on an opportunity to listen and hear, ultimately learning about his son. How many other predetermined expectations does this father raise his child with?
How does this story apply to a parent you may know, may even live with? It is a universal story, just changed the topic. And, this behavior is not only damaging the relationship it is hurting the natural growth of your child. Enter rebellion, anger, and defiance.
Relationships and love are two-way streets and one-way arrows provide no benefits other than directing you down a dead end street.