As a big believer in gratitude, I co-host a weekly Clubhouse room – Cup of Joy.
As our Host and Kuel Life Thought Leader, Nina Obier explains each week, it’s a simple but powerful concept. The idea? You spend an hour with a group of women sharing what’s bringing you joy – or not. We share, learn, and play with one another. Every time I walk away – lighter, more peaceful, and wiser.
“You can’t interpret your child’s life lessons for them.”
A week or so ago, I received a very critical, can’t-learn-it-quick-enough lesson, from one of our guests. During her share, which was about her two youngest 20-somethings moving in together, she matter-of-factly stated: “You can’t interpret your child’s life lessons for them.”
What? Wait? We can’t??
As a parent, I am constantly challenged to mind my own business. For 18 or so years I minded ALL of my son’s business. And now I am welcome to mind… well, none of it. Who set that system up?
The realization that I can not participate in processing my son’s life lessons reminded me of the nature of the butterfly. The butterfly, a symbol of transformation, growth, and freedom, starts as a caterpillar, crawls on the ground, and then transforms into a beautiful butterfly that can fly freely in the sky. Albeit only for a couple of weeks and only if it doesn’t encounter a curious cat – that part of the metaphor isn’t so great.
As a mom, I realize I need to be more like a butterfly. I need to allow my son to transform and grow into the person he is meant to be. I need to let him fly freely and make his own decisions, just like the butterfly can fly freely in the sky.
Learning To Let Go:
“I realized that my interference was not helping my son.”
Letting go of responsibility for my son’s life lessons is not easy. As his mother, I have to fight nature – the need to protect him from harm and guide him towards the right path. However, I realized that my interference was not helping my son. In fact, it was hindering his growth and development. Not to mention, literally pushing him away, causing him to distance himself from me. This parent lesson sucks but I get it.
Seriously, who wants to keep in close contact with someone if all that person does is critique?
I’m learning to let go of my need to control my son’s life and allow him to make his own decisions. I have to trust that he will learn from his mistakes and grow stronger as a result. Giving him the time and space to find his way in life is a painful parenting lesson. I have to mind my own business.
The Importance Of Trust:
“I must believe that his wrong decisions are navigable waters in which he will come out the other side – alive and wiser.”
Trust is an essential component of any relationship, and it is essential in the parent-child relationship. As parents, we must trust that our children will make the right decisions and learn from their mistakes. And trust that poor decisions don’t come at too high a cost. We must trust that they will find their way in life and grow into responsible adults. At least, for the most part.
My son has made it pretty clear that if I want to build a strong and healthy relationship with him, I must stay in my lane. I must trust that he will make the right decisions, even if those decisions are not the ones I would make. And more importantly, I must believe that his wrong decisions are navigable waters in which he will come out the other side – alive and wiser.
Parenting Lesson From The Butterfly:
I keep thinking about the nature of the butterfly. My son’s transformation belongs to him and him alone. I must allow my son to mutate and grow into the person he is meant to be, just like the butterfly transforms from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. I have learned that I must let go of my need to control my son’s life and allow him to make his own decisions. What kills me is that I have to trust the whole process (no matter how scary the moments).
The butterfly’s journey provides a powerful message. The metamorphosis of our children is theirs and theirs alone. Our role is to stand back and allow. We must allow our children to transform and grow into the person they were meant to be. We have to let go of our need to control our children’s lives and allow them to make their own decisions. Like it or not, this parenting lesson of trusting that they will find their way in life and grow into responsible adults is critical. As we watch our children grow and learn, we must be patient and allow them to make mistakes, and keep our fingers crossed that our butterfly doesn’t encounter any curious cats!