• Preeth C.Vijay

Let your kids live their life,Not yours!!

"I have sacrificed my life for you"

"I have given up my career for you"

"I have great hopes on you"

"I live for my kid"

"My whole world revolves around my kid"

I know all these sounds familiar to most of the parents. I have heard this enough as a child and one thing I started feeling in the early stages of my parenting journey is, having a kid is so overwhelming that she consumes me all the time, but then deep inside I made sure that am not living this life for her, neither she lives her life for me.

Yes, being a parent is one remarkable journey and it takes huge effort to bring up a kid, but the best understanding would be to keep a clear view, that my kid need not satisfy me all the time with the way she lives, she need not necessarily live the life I failed at some point, and she need not step back from her passion or whatsoever it is, just because I as a parent feel it does not suit her.

Kids leave. Kids leave us at some point. Kids leave to their school. They leave for college. They hide their secrets. They start living a life on their own when they start earning. We should accept the fact that we give the best possible light source when they pass through the dark tunnel, and once when they are not in need of your light source, they can take care of themselves and your kid is not yours at the end of the day.

But on contrary what we end up doing is, we never let them be themselves. We never let them take hold on their life completely. We scare them. We push our fear and dreams on to them. We make them feel guilty with our stories of love and sacrifice.

And at some point our children lose the confidence to take charge over their life. The children stunt themselves, with regards to their dreams, their passion, their love life, their privacy because they feel that they are obligated to do it for all the sacrifices we did as parents.

One of the greatest gift you can give to kid is the charge to model their own lives, keeping aside all your love, failures and emotions. Your kid is an individual, and as Kahlil Gibran’s poem goes “They came through you but not from you” it takes greater sense of understanding to let your kids live their life, not yours.

One thing we commonly do as a parent is putting our kids need ahead than ours. What are we trying to imply by doing so? Our sacrifice? Our love? Or does it make us feel we are a responsible parent. Probably we as a parent may feel all that is said above. But what we insist on kid is a model of life.

We give a model that our life is full of sacrifice and a feeling to our kids that “am indebted to my parents”.

Some parents see their children as extensions of themselves, rather than as separate people with their own hopes and dreams, This might put pressure on children to try to live up to their parents’ unfulfilled ambitions, rather than pursuing their own ambitions. We all know classic example of how parents push their child into music or dance lessons, karate, sports or even a reality show as we try to own our unfulfilled dreams through our child and attempt to propel them to a level we could never reach.

Thus as a parent we are focusing on our children and ourselves in an unhealthy way:

  • Not living our own dreams.

  • Thinking too much about our children's desires while neglecting our own.

  • Losing touch with our own aspirations.

  • Becoming obsessively involved in our child’s activities, at the expense of our own well-being or hobbies.

  • Making decisions about our child’s life because of our own disappointments.

  • Seeing our child’s behavior and activities as a reflection of our own worth or we are so much taken by the peer pressure.

  • Ignoring our child’s needs or interests.

  • Showing unnecessary emotional drama when your kid fails in something.

Living vicariously through a child is actually a form of abuse. As a parent we actually pigeonhole our child into a role we want, ignoring our kid’s feelings.

All you can teach your children is being practical and embrace the life with love. Let your children live their dream. Stop being the parent who insists or talks “My Kid fulfills my dreams”. Your kid is an individual. They absolutely have no obligation to live a life, you wanted them to live.

The moment you feel you have lived your life for your kid and sacrificed it all, you are expecting them to give it all back. Every man’s needs and desires changes constantly, your kid is no exception. Loosen your grip when they want to leave and watch them live and grow this life, on their own choice.

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