My dad appeared confident, at least on the outside. But mom seemed comparatively more insecure. However, appearances are often misleading.
As I said, my mom didn’t appear confident in an extroverted manner. At the same time, I felt her presence as a calm and steady person, committed to her connections. Regardless of how old either of us got or where in the country we lived, she remained my mom. I was always her son. Our relationship instilled me with quiet confidence.
There is something about relationships with other people that bring out our best. It’s not a given, truly. Get in bed with the wrong person, personally or professionally, and you’ll feel the pressure to behave in ways that make you feel uneasy. If you’re lucky, you’ll begin to question yourself, your motives, and your values. This is a healthy way forward. When you’re not so fortunate, you’ll remain stuck and unaware of why you’re in an unhappy struggle.
Connections with the right people inspire us. They naturally encourage us to make daily decisions that we can feel proud of, that lead toward safety and security, with opportunities for creative self-expression and financial success. These relationships are the best. They’re desirable and we’re enviable of those who seem to have them.
Our networks are important. They’re everything. Have them and thrive. Struggle without them. The relationship opportunities that our networks provide are a source of fun and entertainment. At the same time, they provide us with support. They challenge us to become our best. In short, we cannot live happily without them. And our first network is with our parents.
There is a common belief among some that since we only live once, “let your kids have a childhood.” This is good advice. Although, please don’t use this as an excuse to not set healthy, responsible boundaries and “say no” to your kids from time to time. I know it’s not easy. You want to say “yes” whenever possible. But don’t let them grow up with an attitude that the world revolves around them.
Please teach them how to be responsible for themselves. Ask them to think about how to be their best, especially in relationships.