As parents, we are expected to know what is best for our children. We are cast into this omnipotent role of the “all knower” and we often take this position on and forget we may not always know what is best.
I began to see how I knew what was best from my perspective and beliefs and yet when I began to question this I could clearly see my daughter was separate from me and had her own GPS.
At first, this was daunting because it meant stepping out of the role I had created for myself of the “knows whats best, mom”. It was shaky ground to open to the truth which was I wasn’t required to know what was best. I could actually come alongside my daughter as she began to discover what was best for her.
To do this, required a new way of parenting. I had set myself up in my daughter’s eyes as the one who gave her permission, the one who told her what to do and when to do it and the one who let her do what she wanted or didn’t.
As I deepened my inquiry I realized I was not creating a ground for her to know herself but an outside force which dictated who and what she was. This was a bit shocking at first because clearly, I wanted to raise a daughter who had her own mind and knew herself since this had been so hard for me to experience due to my upbringing.
I slowly began to soften inside around needing to know and began to ask my daughter questions about her experience instead of projecting mine onto her.
When she would ask me for something instead of saying yes or no I would say, “I don’t know, what do you think?” It was powerful to hear her knowing even when it didn’t match with mine. It also supported her in going inside to see what her body or mind was up to and what it actually wanted vs pleasing me.