I am drawn to the connections that occur whether it is abstract thoughts or with living beings. For instance, we have an indoor cat that has become an outdoor cat. Because he was raised with affection he had now made “friends” with the skunks and a possum that come nightly to eat his food. It makes me laugh but he is really intent on sharing and doesn’t seem to mind.
I also find it interesting that many parents who are wondering and struggling with redefining themselves have kids who are just beginning to ask the question of who am I? What is fascinating is that they are on a parallel journey of discovery. But before you get all excited and want to bond with your child of this discovery there are some things you need to know.
~Your journey of self discovery began at birth as did theirs. You however, have more years of knowledge and wisdom within you to pull on, while your child does not.
~Your child’s brain is actually growing in size, yours is not. This adds to the adolescent confusion and lack of motivation as well as that annoying forgetful memory syndrome.
~Your child is becoming associated with abstract ideas/thoughts and you have been there for awhile.
~Your child needs peer support to validate the multiple roles or traits he/she wants to incorporate into his life. You have come to the point where you don’t care what others think. You have the attitude of a million people could say this won’t work, yet I am the majority.
However, there are similar issues.
~You are both hormonal which means that emotional upsets will and do happen.
~You are both asking the same questions of Who am I? Who do I want to be? How will this play out in life?
~You both want what is best for yourself.
~You both will experiment with different ideas and habits.
To avoid collision during this phase of life I have a few suggestions.
1. Don’t try to be BFF’s (Best Friends Forever) with your child, you are the parent.
2. Don’t make your journey more important. In fact you are not there to share your issues with them. This will alienate them from you causing great pain and making your journey more difficult.
3. Rejoice when they discover a great thing about themselves, then nurture it.
4. Nurture yourself and rejoice when you discover a great new you.
Remember that life is to be enjoyed. Find humor in the fact that you are on parallel journeys and there will be days that are similar. Set aside time for you to work on you. This is exhausting to observe yourself changing while trying to parent your child going through this similar experience.