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RE: "Stolen Experiences:" The Trap of Doing Things Other People's Way!

in WORLD OF XPILAR4 months ago

As a daughter of a highly controlling and judgmental father, who expected his wife to enforce his rules on their five children, I turned out so goddamn wishy washy I was ashamed I didn't have any opinions of my own. My kids did whatever they wanted to, at home and at school. They have all turned out to be solid adult individuals with compassion and abilities to think for themselves. They can express their feelings. They can forge their own paths.

This nonsense that children need to be "guided" every step of the way is just that - nonsense. Let them figure out right from wrong by the effects and feelings their actions produce.

If I could do one thing differently, I would not have sent them to school, where control by pedantic, self-righteous and controlling teachers, administrations and governmental dictates does terrible damage to our children.

I let my kids play in poison ivy, after I pointed out the danger. I let them climb trees after explaining the possible problems. I did not punish them for their mistakes. Since we didn't have electronics, I didn't limit screen time. They went to bed when they were tired and ate as much candy as they wanted to. Funny thing is, they took themselves off to bed at reasonable hours, they didn't eat much candy because they figured out that too much made them sick, and they all can identify poison ivy.

A lot of people disagreed with me. They thought I wasn't setting enough "limits". Today, I can say that I am much closer to my children than they are, and that their grown children are no better or happier than mine.

To get back to you post, my regrets in life almost all involve my listening to someone who was supposed to know more than I did, and ignoring the red flags and misgivings I had at those times that I ignored.

Follow your own heart, not someone else's.

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 4 months ago 

Sounds rather similar to my own path.

I was also ridiculously wishy-washy by the time I left home, and pretty much had to create my own self-identity at the point because I had never been allowed to have one.

Our adult kids are pretty good and well adjusted human beings, too... and unlike many who came from controlling parents who did the whole "helicopter parenting" thing, our kids willingly come home and spend the weekends regularly because they want to and like being here. And I think that says a lot about the approach of letting them largely find their own way. If there was a thing I'd perhaps change it would be that we were a little to eager to protect them from the consequences of their less fortunate choices.

Yes, my kids come home often even though they live pretty far away. That has been quite a blessing through covid, or I would have spent too much time alone for my sanity.

As for controlling parents, the worst of those who we still have regular gathering with still control whether or not their adult children can have dessert, based on how much of the other food they have eaten. It is the strangest thing. We can be sitting at a table of fifteen, and one of these parents will be watching what their offspring eat. I remember one time, when all the kids were young, the kids were excited because they were going to be allowed to have Skittles after the meal. When the time came to pass the Skittles out, each child, mine included, was allowed to choose ONE Skittle. lol. Their kids had massive candy stashes at home. I found out later that the adults had candy stashes of their own too.