I don’t like to say things like, I am happy because you are happy. This kind of saying has the implication that my happiness depends on you. You see? Something is wrong here. I will never be happy if you don’t like me. I am giving you the power to control my life, my interpretation of myself. If you are my boss, oh no, I think I am getting a headache now, because boss do not really feel satisfied 99% of the time. This is not right, even when that person means a lot to you, like your son or daughter or your partner. If they decided they don’t like you, I can only say life is tough, but who says it is a must for them to like you? Society. You said. Who says everyone you like have to like you back? Who says? Tell me. No one.
The eight important things parents cannot do for their children, from the book ‘Homesick and Happy’:
1.We cannot make our children happy
2.We cannot give our children high self-esteem
3.we cannot make friends for our children or snoop on or try to control their friendships
4.We cannot manage all aspects of our childrens’ growth
5.we cannot create the friends and other relationships for our children
6.we cannot compete with our child’s electronic world
7.we cannot keep our children every second safe, but we can push them trying
8. we cannot make our children independent.
This is both surprising and relieving for parents. Ironically, the things parents can do is to let our children go their own ways, even though it is painful to see our kids struggle.
Once you accepted the fact you can not protect your baby girl or baby boy your whole life, they will take full responsibility for what they are doing when he or she are away from you. There are risks, but they will learn the hard way. Their values will be tested and internalised, and they will grow morally strong.
Thompson, M. 2012. Homesick and happy. New York: Ballantine Books Trade Paperbacks.