I find it extremely challenging to trust that my daughter will do the “right” thing if I don’t constantly remind her or hold her to my standard. So, as a parent, I made a choice not to take over my daughter’s business and trust that she will do the “right” thing for her. It hasn’t been easy to sit with my discomfort when she says “no” to a request from a friend. What I have found is that she does have her own internal knowing and when I get out of the way she has a chance to own her decisions.
She babysits for a little girl in our neighborhood every Wednesday morning. This little girl adores my daughter and looks forward to their time together. Two weeks ago my daughter had an opportunity to spend the day with an adult friend of mine instead of babysitting. She easily called the little girl and told her she wouldn’t be able to watch her. The little girl was sad and wanted to know why? My daughter explained but still decided to go with my friend.
Part of me wanted to hold her to her responsibility and yet I left the decision up to her. It was challenging since I know the mother of the little girl and wanted to take care of her. (my old care taking mode cropping up) I held my ground and let my daughter take care of herself.
This week the same situation arose. As she contemplated the day she all of a sudden said, “Oh, I’m supposed to watch M on Wednesday. I’ll just have to let her know I can’t.” I told her she needed to call M and let her know. I thought this was the end of it until a few minutes later she comes down and tells me she is going to my friends tonight and tomorrow. I ask her why the change? She says, “M really likes when I come to babysit her and I don’t want to disappoint her again.” Well, lordy be. She does know! I had nothing to do with this whole encounter.
Learning to trust that your child will find their way can be one of the hardest aspects of parenting. I promise you it is the BEST part when you can relax, honor their truth and know that they will do the “right” thing for them.