“I encourage you to accept that you may not be able to see a path right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there”
As I lay in bed at night, I frequently think about my clients from work. So many of them are extremely talented, yet were never given the love, motivation, or the structure that they needed to preserver. Working with them reminds me daily to be that person for me son. I want my son to know that there are no limits in life. I don’t want him to feel that there is anything that he cannot achieve or conquer. I believe that the reason many of us don’t reach our full potential is because we have already limited ourselves to small areas of potential. Let’s be done with “glass ceilings!” We are frequently the architects of our own barriers that we feel so overwhelmed, and buried by. We are our very own wardens, who commit ourselves daily to mediocrity. I want to break out of that myself, and I don’t want my child to ever live in it.
I want Kristopher, to know that the world is his playground. I don’t want him to fear flying high on the swings, swinging across the monkey bars, or braving the big steep slide in the play area. It sounds crazy, but this is where it all starts. How we handle change and challenges as children can dictate how we function as adults. As toddlers who develop into children, and so on, we (parents) are their inner voice. We teach them to either conquer fear, or to fear it. We have the power to open their minds or create mindless robots that function as our “mini me.”
So, how do I plan to remove the limitations out of his mind? It’s simple; I plan to allow him to be him, and to break free from my own chains.
“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible”
Arthur C. Clarke
Allowing him freedom to grow:
I want him to test boundaries. Testing boundaries will create a will in him to challenge things, rather just accepting what another has told him. That doesn’t mean that he will be ruthless or without rules, but that he will be given the opportunity and space to grow into him, without an adult consistently pulling him back. He is welcome to have his own thoughts, and to disagree. We have to allow them to both grow, and explore. As parents it’s also our job to introduce our children to the world. We don’t have to fly them around it to do that, we just need to allow them to explore the everyday things that exist around us without hovering, or feeling the need to consistently control the environment. Take your children places, and step back. Before telling them what something is, allow them to discover it on their own terms. I promise you that it’s an eye-opening experience. Your toddler will use words that you never knew they understood, or that even existed in their vocabulary. Give them space to test out their own limits.
I try to provide Kristopher, with an environment where he sees me striving and learning; one where he can witness me break-free as well. He trusts me as his mother; to love, encourage, and guide him, but I want him to also see me as a developing strength as well. I can’t preach to him “no limits,” if I’m not breaking free from my own constraints. It’s like telling your children to go to college, because learning is important, but not being willing to complete your own degree. Our children learn from what we do, not what we preach.
The purpose of this post is to encourage other mothers to tell their limits to take a hike. If we want to raise winners, we first have to be the example of how to win. We have to defeat our own fears, and untie ourselves from whatever is holding us back. If you want to return to school, go. Enroll yourself as soon as you can. If you have a hobby that’s truly your passion, master it, and indulge yourself in it deeply. Whatever your goals are, work towards them, and make them a reality. Building you is a great way to build them. Let’s show our children that the only true barriers are the ones we create. Let’s allow them to see that the “glass ceiling,” we hide under or that blocks our progression can be shattered. Even more importantly, let’s allow them to be little engineers, and pioneer a path of their own with little doubt and lots of faith in themselves. Let’s teach them to be monumental.
“When kids are met with the highest expectations and given the extra support they need, they can be as motivated as kids anywhere.” Wendy Kopp
Kristopher’s Mom, Kristina