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Parenting Through My Daughters’ Eyes

Parenting adolescents, I have learnt, begins from birth. My two beautiful and radiant daughters have been ‘schooling’ me about how to nurture healthy adolescents, what I did well and where I missed the mark.

Many great lessons, ‘through my daughters’ eyes’.

Firstly ‘do not live vicariously through your children’!  Many of us the moment our precious bundles are delivered, by birth, adoption, fostering or just left in our care, we start planning. What they will wear, what they will eat, the school they will attend, career path they will choose. For me, it was the extra-curriculars I wanted to excel in, swimming, dancing, karate, track and field, and netball. They did it all at the highest level and with many awards and trophies.

Guess what, I never missed a practice, rehearsal, competition. I was being the loving doting Mom, however through their eyes, I was passionate, supportive, pushy, not listening and wanted it more than they did.

My many days of choosing to watch with them ‘Nickelodeon’ for bonding time, through their eyes, they wished I had asked what they wanted to watch beyond the toddler years.

Choosing to dress then alike was not financial prudence. It was me replicating my own childhood wardrobe with my sister, and to believe I did not like it.

All that pre-adolescent stuff triggered the push back for autonomy and inclusion. I entered the adolescent years embracing that making all decisions in the life of my children requires my humility, cultural humility, that I am an expert in many things, and they are the experts in their own lives.

Writer Joy Crawford ‘lovelet’. 22.03.2023

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