Why I’m Not Concerned About How My Children Will Turn Out

boys

I was talking to a neighbor yesterday who said that she knows our boys will grow up to be great men and, at that time, I will say, “I did that.” I thanked her, but felt uneasy. I don’t often think about the type of men my suns will be, but when called to do so I never think about their success (whatever that may look like for them) being because of me (and their dad). I think this is where parenting goes awry. Whether my suns succeed or fail, I am simply there as a constant presence to help however I can. Naturally, I want them to do well as boys and as men, but, in the end, that’s on them. We will provide the best environment, upbringing, and opportunities to thrive as they enter into manhood however I have removed my attachment to the outcome of their lives. How their lives turn out, in greatness or mediocrity, is ultimately up to them.

Don’t get me wrong. I get where my neighbor was coming from, and I am humbled that she thinks so highly of my children at the tender ages of two and six. However I won’t allow myself to believe that my parenting reach extends beyond the parameters of where it should. I know my role in this parenting journey and gladly accepted it, and while I understand how impactful it is, I want my boys to continue to own their lives, however they turn out. That’s how life should be, and when they do leave the nest with belief in their capabilities and their truths, I will gladly say, “I did that.” because instilling those tenets, and other knowledge of self tenets, is in my control. Then, I will know that I did my job as their mother. But, for now, I’m working on it, day by day, just enjoying them and this journey.

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4 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Concerned About How My Children Will Turn Out

  1. This was powerful mama. You and I are totally on the same page as this. Just as I cannot be responsible for my children’s happiness. I’m doing the best I can to provide for them physically, emotionally and spiritually. I work hard at that and put a lot of myself into that. But at the end of the day, it’s up to them to be happy/grateful/content.

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  2. Apparently, you are way ahead of me on this topic. My 15-year-old is a bundle of nervous anxiety. My 13-year-old has announced he is an atheist despite attending church and church camps all these years. Their mother and I have tried our best to provide a stable, loving home. It is hard to not find self-fault here.

    I used to chuckle to myself when people raised “bad” children. I’m not laughing anymore.

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    • I think a fallacy of parenting that we’ve been taught is that children are extensions of us. That because they are of us they are (or should be) reflective of everything we’ve raised them to be.That’s simply not true in my experience. Everyone, including children, has their own distinct soul, purpose and journey, and while I believe that home environment and parental guidance are huge influences on the path people take, I don’t believe it’s what ultimately determines fate. In other words, correlation does not imply causation. I hope I’m making sense, Matthew. With anything, all you can do is your best and let go of the rest. To me, that includes parenting, as well.

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