'Letting Go' of Your Children.
One of my children is a bit of a non-communicator. They are really good at the rambling about everything and nothing - not so good at the 'what's really going on?' talking. They find it hard to put their feelings into words, hard to talk to me and hard to listen to what I may have to say. They are introverted. I am not - I am a talker. I have check-ins with my kids, the other three are marvellous communicators and so able and comfortable articulating their feelings and emotions. Something I have found to be incredibly healing and necessary is talking, it allows, through the acknowledgement on a conscious and verbal level, you to move through life/relationships more easily. Sometimes it's hard to talk about things, sometimes you don't even really know where to begin - sometimes it's scary, but one thing I do know, is that it helps. It untangles the sometimes very messy complexities of our emotions. I have encouraged my children over the years to talk - whether through (when they were little) play, drawings, making models, cooking, trying to find non-intrusive ways of communicating and them feeling safe and able to talk.
I think this is why I find it difficult that one of my children, despite all this, doesn't open up to me. Sometimes they do, but not always, and not every time I feel they 'should'.
The fact that this child is not the same has several effects: It makes me feel like I have failed them. It makes me angry. I feel scared. I feel like I have lost them... And I got cross. I had a really bad parenting moment telling my child they had to and needed to communicate with me, that it wasn't fair on me... Then I heard myself. I felt the fear in me, I recognised I was making it all about my fear as a parent of losing them, of the need to control, I was making about me.
I slept on it.
I wrote them a letter.
I chatted to them this morning. I apologised. I spoke to them of my fears and I told them how when they were little I was able to 'fix' them, fix everything. And as they get older, other people become important to them and involved, their focus shifts, but as a mother, mine never does! But that's because I am the parent.
I got a letter back!
They communicated! In their own way that they felt safe doing. And that's ok. Just because it is not my chosen way of doing things, doesn't mean that my way is right! It's right for me, but we have to allow for our children's individuality in parenting. It's hard letting go of what we have decided we want or expect for our children - but when we do, they find their own way, in the safety and knowledge that you're there in the background loving them through it, and there's something enormously beautiful in that: in that silent trust you have in them that gives them the confidence to walk independently.