It’s what we always seem to say to our children, but when do we listen to them? When do we give them the platform to speak their minds and voice their opinions?
In my house, I have always encouraged my kids to speak up, telling them that God gave them a brain and voice for reason. All I ask is that they remain respectful with it, and to remember that they still may not get their way. I want them to grow up and be able to make decisions for themselves. To stand up for themselves. I mean, after all we are raising human beings, not sock puppets.
It saddens me though to hear my daughter tell of how in school she doesn’t feel free to voice her opinion and speak her mind. Apparently if what they say is not agreeable with the discussion at hand, or is perceived to be negative, then they are sent to the office and forced to discuss their feelings.
Not every child who has a difference of opinion from their peers, teachers and/or parents are troubled. Sometimes they are just comfortable in their own individuality. They know the difference between right and wrong. And shouldn’t that be a good thing? Personally, I prefer my children to be their own person and to not feel like they have to fit in with the crowd. They don’t need to feel that pressure of not measuring up. They are perfect being themselves, and the ones who choose to be their friends will do so because of who they are and not who they know.
So let’s allow these kids to be kids. Let them have a crazy hairstyle for a while, let them dress with their own sense of fashion, let them join band, play sports or learn chess if they want. Just allow them the chance to find out who they are. To build confidence in themselves, and to know that they have the support of the most important person in their lives…You; Mom, Dad, Grandparent, Guardian. Guide them on their path of learning and self-discovery, don’t mold them with conformity, and they will respect and appreciate you more than you could have imagined. Try to remember how things felt for you at that age, really remember, I bet you will be surprised at what comes to mind.
These are our children, our gift from God. We are to nurture and shelter them, to protect and strengthen them, to teach them how to survive before turning them loose in this world. Do we really want generations of co-dependent non-thinkers? No, let’s build generations of strong individuals who have the confidence to live their lives in the best way they can. To know that if they have a difference of opinion they won’t be judged for it. To know they are simply perfect just the way they are because we have loved them simply for who they are.
© Gloria Jones and Life According To G, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Jones and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.