Barriers are created as we grow, fears are created through experience but when it boils down to it as a parent there is NOTHING I would not do or face for Ollie. I have a fear of water, moths and crowds. I have a need for preciseness and routine all of which hold me back sometimes. I suppose we always wish our children to be better than we were, we can install traits into them, we can try and mould them to the ‘ideal’ little person. I want Ollie to be more free spirited than me, but can I really make that decision?
My mind spins back to those days while I was pregnant and me and my hubby would dream up all of the characteristics we would like Ollie to have, we were very set on the following:
Kind and loving
Intelligent (more than us)
Polite and with old fashioned manners
Not interested in sports
Have a passion for the world and travel
We even thought up careers for him:
I am sure the list goes on. However more recently I have come to realise that Ollie is EXACTLY the way HE WANTS TO BE (and that does include a love of football at the moment, of which is no interest to most of his family), of course we have taught him the words and phrases that are polite and cute, but he CHOSE to use them, he CHOSE them to be his responses. I took Ollie to view a nursery yesterday and was heartbroken when I tried to take him home (after 15 minutes I might add) because he desperately wanted to be with the other children, his eyes said to me …’yes mum you may like spending time alone and reflecting but I want to PLAY with these children’. With one look he was able to show me that he knows who he is and what he wants. Ollie does exactly what he CHOOSES through his day and he is HAPPY and EXCITED; I have given in to the idea of ‘moulding’ him and moved to a much different way of thinking.
It doesn’t really matter to me what Ollie enjoys doing or how he wants his room to be decorated in a few years time, what matters are his CORE VALUES. Those are what I am not going to focus on, he can like football (I will even stand on the sidelines in the rain) he can be independent, creative, eccentric, boisterous. He can be an astronaut or travel photographer, a shoe maker or a writer, he can make chewing gum for a living as long as I see him do it with a smile on his face and love in his heart.
Everyday I look Ollie in the eyes and I tell him ‘I love you’ (he now sings the Barney I love you song back which is cute), I tell him so that he knows he is loved and needed; I also tell him he is special, smart and funny and I do it because it is TRUE. I do it because I want him to know that these are the feelings important to me.
So I want to encourage Ollie to express himself how he wishes with teaching core values and not personality traits, I will teach him:
To BELIEVE in himself and others – I want him to trust his instincts and DREAM BIG, I want him to KNOW he CAN achieve anything he sets his mind on and he can help others see that potential too.
To LOVE unconditionally – to love and respect himself and those around him. By living life with love in his heart he will have so much to give.
To LEARN – to always learn and grow, experience and explore. To build upon mistakes made and be the best version of himself.
To LISTEN – Ollie’s dad is the greatest listener I know, he is a rock when it comes to being supportive and allowing you the space to be heard, this is one of the biggest reasons I love this man so much and it has shown me how important listening is.
To be GRATEFUL for all you have and will have. Over the past 6 months gratitude to others and myself has changed my mindset for the better. Even when it is raining and cold I can see the sun behind the clouds and this is all thanks to gratitude. I spend time everyday saying thank you (in my head, on paper and in person), it has such a strong power, it can change the course of your day and your life.
To SMILE – All children love to smile and as we grow for various reasons some people’s smile can fade. I want to teach Ollie about the beauty in the world, in people and in him so that when life does get him down he knows that if he shares a smile it can make all the difference.
Now reading these I laugh to myself because this was never something I would have thought about before Ollie, I thought happiness and being a good person came from a lot of other different external sources, it was a revelation to me that it can come from within yourself (which is a cheaper than the handbags and notebooks I used to buy to keep myself smiling…ok you got me I still do that however….)
So of course, while you have the freedom to choose your little ones clothes, bedroom and what play park they spend their time in, see in them that they KNOW what they want already and are just trying to tell you. Install in them rock solid values and no matter what their chosen path in life it will always be the right one for them.
Thank you for your eyes and ears this morning, have a fantastic day!