The moment we all wait for eventually arrives for everyone: When we get to make our own decisions and live the good life! Or so we think. There are no rules and we can do anything we want because we are adults, right?! I guess depending on your upbringing and opinion, your answer to this question could be a resounding, “Yes!”
In some aspects you are exactly right. You can choose to eat whatever you want. You can wear what you want, and go where you want. None of these daily tasks require permission from anyone. Your kids on the other hand, need to obey your rules and ask permission for just about everything they do. I can guarantee that they are also looking forward to the day where they feel that they have the freedoms that come with adulthood. My kids regularly make comments about how they believe life will be when they are adults!
Considering the flip side of adult freedoms…
Can adults break the law? Can adults lie? Can adults have 10 cookies before dinner? Can adults gossip about others? Can adults swear? The answer to all of these questions is of course, “Yes”. We all have been blessed with free will. It is up to us to decide how we will use this honor of having choice.
Let’s think for a moment about the above examples as we consider what impact adult actions have on our kids. Not only have I seen how the actions of adults play out in the lives of children in a professional manner; I have experienced it first hand in my own home.
Talk about a mixture of feelings! As parents, we have been given the wonderful privilege to have given birth to innocent and wonderful children. Children are born as what I call blank slates. They are given to us so we can teach and mold them into wonderful human beings. Combine that fact with fear and concern when kids learn from negative situations and it can sometimes cause any parent stress. I can surely empathize with all of you who have been in these situations!
Lets consider the following examples:
- What will the result be of a parent breaking the law? Answer: Children grow up thinking that it is okay to break the rules.
- What will the result be of a parent using coping skills instead of yelling and hitting? Answer: Children growup knowing how to manage strong feelings because that is what has been modeled for them.
- What will the result be of a parent lying? Answer: Children will learn that it is OK to lie and will begin to lie themselves.
- What will the result be of a parent giving daily hugs, telling their children that they love them, and using positive discipline in raising their children? Answer: Children will feel secure, will take healthy risks, and will treat others with respect.
I’m sure (at least I hope) that you are getting the message loud and clear: YOU determine the fate of you children’s future. YOU are their primary role model. YOUR actions and words are what they will repeat. YOUR choices greatly impact your children’s development and choices. The choices that YOU make wire your child’s brain to learn that life is how YOU are living it.
Okay, so I’m sure by know you are getting my point: Children are extremely impressionable and look towards their caregivers to show them how to live and how to navigate their world.
You are an adult. No one can dispute that. No one can tell you what choices to make. You are free to make whatever choices you want. Life, society, and our children tend to dictate the consequences of these choices. My hope and prayer for you and every other parent out there is that you will reflect upon your choices and consider the effects on your children and those around you.
Just take a few moments to think:
- What are the positive and/or negative consequences of my actions?
- What are my choices teaching my kids? Are these lessons beneficial to them?
- What can I change in order to be the best parent I can be? (I ask myself this question a lot)
In reality I know that you are an adult. I know that you can make your own choices. I also know that each of your choices are not what your kids need to blossom into successful and responsible adults. No parent is perfect. I include myself in that statement. However, if we all can take one small step to put our kids first and be positive role models, we are giving them what they need to grow and develop into individuals that they (and you) will be proud of. Need support to accomplish this? Click here!
Start today by making responsible adult choices. Being an adult is surely not all fun and games. Freedom, yes. Responsibly, yes. Doing whatever you want? NO!
Comment with your thoughts below!
Click here if you are not one of our current members, and welcome!
(membership is free)
Barb, LMHC, CPC, Ed.M, CAS