When our kids become our role models

When we become parents our position in the world shifts.  We become responsible for the rearing of new people to add to our population. We become vulnerable through loving them so much and wanting the best for them.  As they grow older, the decisions become more complex and we devote time and energy into ensuring they get the best start in life so that they end up “happy”. (We’re often not sure what that means but let’s assume we are sensible enough to know that they will have good days and bad days and that they learn to enjoy the former and build strength to deal with true latter.

Then one day something happens and we realise with a shock that our kids can have something to teach us.  And that can be quite confronting!  Whether it is hearing them express a different point of view (which has been carefully thought out rather than just a reactionary teenage phase), or when they make a comment on something that they have learnt and we realise that they are in fact more knowledgeable than us on the subject.  But the real magic moment is when they express something that sounds remarkably like wisdom – that may provide clarity around an area that we did not have before they spoke.    Whatever the moment, our world can shift again and we realise that we are passing on some degree of responsibility for our world to our children.  We may share it for hopefully, many years to come, but it is time to realise that we’re not the ones “in charge”. 

I have had the joy and learning experience of trying to use coaching skills on my kids – sometimes with success, sometimes to be met with, “We know what you’re doing, Mum”.  Now I realise that I may on the receiving end of someone trying to help me understand a new way of thinking even though they may be 30 years younger than me and I helped them learn how to talk and walk