Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.Confucius
Mom’s fears and expectations are close relatives.
I have noticed long time ago this problematic relation of expectations from our children (and ourselves, our lives) along with subtle fears shall something go “wrong” (read = not as we have expected).
I see a big issue about it and take all measures to get rid of all possible future scenarios, leaving, perhaps only the frame.
Games People Play – one of my favorite
There is a very interesting book I’ve read many times by Eric Bern “Games People Play”. The author explains how we program our children (consciously or not) to a certain life scenario and how hard it is to get rid of a certain program that has been embedded into our brain since early childhood.
At the same time, the author explains (in the end of the book), that children actually do expect us, the parents, to pass them some scenarios, since these life programs structure their (children’s) time and provide a sort of guidelines to the future.
That means we cannot totally refuse to give a scenario and have zero expectations but there should be a very delicate balance between the mom’s and dad’s view of life and the child’s generic layout (these are the best words I could find to express my thought, hope it was clear).
Hence, I see my primary task as a mom to avoid destructive judgment as much as possible and moreover – avoid expecting certain behaviors, certain words and certain actions from my children – based on my personal prejudices. It’s hard and I catch myself that I enjoy it when my kids copy me in different ways. But at least I am aware, which makes things a little easier to cope with.
Success of Failure, huh?
But let’s go back to the frame of the scenario (or in other words – mom’s expectations). The frame is a binary thing – like a “success” or “failure”, while the small details consist the contents of this scenario and make it happen. I know it sounds weird to mention failure because no sane parent would wish failure scenario for their children, but some parents, unfortunately, have an unconscious tendency to failure and pass it to their offspring without thinking. Therefore, I do mention failure, as Eric Bern did in his book. I even know some “failure” cases from life, so it’s not a myth at all.
So where lies the line between constructive judgment and the freedom of children’s actions where the parents stands aside and watches no matter what it is? It’s an unresolved mystery to me, and I do my best to take the lessons life generously offers me every day.