So my son is in the process of growing his hair.
I personally hate it. And yet I let him grow it out.
And the biggest reason for me is because I want him to learn how to speak up for himself.
There are reasons why each of us have to do something, and there are preferences of what each of us want for ourselves.
And I want to teach him that there will always be people who disapprove of his decisions, he can listen to opposing reasons, AND he can be brave enough to go against other people’s disapprovals, because he has a voice, and he gets to go after what he wants.
So it really triggers me when people say, make your son do this or that, because he doesn’t know what’s best for him!
And why it’s triggering, is because my mom has (operative word here, because she still does) a tendency to tell me what to do, without understanding, or even caring what I want or what I think.
And you know what happens when people don’t get to own their voices, and they have trouble speaking up?
They grow up lacking confidence and ability to become a leader.
For me, this is what a leader is:
A leader is creative and thinks of different ideas that are not the same as others, and they accept themselves for being different.
A leader is not afraid to speak up about their unique ideas.
A leader is able to accept other people’s pushbacks, and keep standing up for their beliefs, implementing the change.
And guess where this skill starts?
When we as parents don’t accept our children to be different, our children thinks that something is wrong with them for thinking differently.
When we as parents don’t encourage our children to speak and share their unique ideas, it becomes difficult for them to speak up for themselves outside.
And you may think.. it’s easy to say but hard to implement.
Yes it is difficult to implement, because you have to start challenging everything you’d ever known.
And You’re going to get push backs, criticisms, judgements, negative reactions.
Here’s what it looks like:
Our kids would keep saying, why do you keep making me do things I don’t want?
Our parents (or other people) would keep saying, you need to force yourself on your kids.
It becomes triggering on both sides!
And for me, I personally welcome that. Even though super triggering and stressful. It means I’m growing.
From what I saw, because of how my mom raised me, it took me 40+ years to learn that I have a voice, and that I think differently than others.
And it was through the process of healing myself and accepting myself that I get to stand up and be a leader.
I want my son to learn this concept now.
So he can accept himself for being different now.
Because at the end of the day, if my son has any creative amazing ideas, I want him to be able to speak up, present himself and his ideas much much earlier than me.
If he wants something that I don’t approve of, I want him to learn that he has the capacity to go ahead with it despite of my disapprovals.
Because I truly believe he is a smart creative kid, who knows exactly what he wants.
Now for those of you who may think that your children don’t know what is best for them, I’d like to invite you to challenge that idea…
What if they do know what is best for them? (Of course age appropriate)
What if they do already know, because they have interests in certain things that are different than yours. They have preferences different than yours.
What if those are actually their inner knowings?
They are different from you, they think differently than you.
They are not a copy of you.
They are their own person.
And eventually, you have to let them go, where they have to venture out into the world.
Are you equipping them with skills, where they can be courageous and share their unique ideas with others?
Are you helping them navigate and deal with times when other people reject them?
Are you allowing them to go against your “No’s”, and when they hear “No”, are you helping them practice how to become resilient? So they don’t become scared fall down and get back up to again.
Let them be different. Let them try things out. Let them fail. So that they can learn. So they can cultivate that trust within themselves.
Yes, learning to deal with this can be super triggering.
And if you’re ready and willing to learn how to process your own triggers, so you can better support your kids, I invite you to reach out to me.
Send me a message, or book a time with me, so we can see if we’re a good fit to work with each other.