When kids are not our "mini me": accepting your children as they are #Parent-Child relationship#big kids#kids#parenthood Posted Mar 18 2019 Guest post by Heather Sexton Me & Mini Me matching shirts from Purple Fox UK When you become a parent, I think it's natural to have expectations and preconceived ideas of what the little person you have created is going to be like. Imagining the future and what that could look like is perfectly natural. Related Post Raising children on the spectrum when you are also on the spectrum My son is diagnosed with Asperger's and my daughter was diagnosed with moderate autism. Just recently my therapist told me that I fall on the... Read more But as they grow, you begin to see them become this little person who is unique and special in their own ways. At that point, you should let go of the ideas and expectations you had in your mind at the beginning. At that point it requires growing as a parent yourself. Because this child, this little human being you are raising, is their very own little person. They have ideas and personality and a spirit all their own. Accepting that little human is your job as a parent. Your job is not to mold them into who you want them to become. Your job is not to tear down their spirit and build it up to your expectations. Your child is not your blank slate to create on, nor are they your clay to mold, nor a miniature version of you. Your child is a person, growing and learning and figuring out their place in the world. We as parents should open that space for them. We should teach, celebrate, guide, and love. Who are we to judge? We are people, too, imperfect and learning ourselves. We have no manual, no copy of what life and parenting are supposed to be. We are all on this lifelong journey to find ourselves. We need to learn our children are who they are supposed to be. They are different from us and that's okay. Editor's note: I'm reminded of the book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon which discusses children who are very different from their parents in various ways. Grab it here if you want to read more about this topic. Here's a quick take… "Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter. All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves." Related Post How do I teach privilege to my able-bodied, white male children? My partner and I recently welcomed our miracle twin newborns to the world and we’re thrilled! But also terrified. Somehow we managed to bring two more blond-haired, blue-eyed, males into… Read More Related Post How I explain race to my mixed-race children Being mixed has shaped my identity, made me who I am. I’ve always felt different, but in a good way. Sure, I’ve had my share of racist insults and rejection… Read More Related Post How can I raise freethinking children in a religious community without seeming like an angry atheist? I want my daughters to be able to enjoy the holidays, but I don't want them involved in the religious dogma that is so apparent everywhere. On the other hand,… Read More Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Heather Sexton Heather is a runner of crazy long races, a mom of two awesome little boys, and a late bloomer in life. She writes because her life has been completely extraordinary and she has stories to tell. http://www.marathonmom304.com/ PREVIOUS Try not to squee too loudly when you see this newborn dressed up as a baby bear NEXT There's an app that'll help you find places where you can actually take up space as a larger person Show/Hide comments [ 2 ] I am not an athletic person. My hobbies are choir, knitting, baking, crafting. I used to work as an arts educator for a local Boys and Girls Club, where everyone else on staff was super into sports. I can remember joking about being the artsy-fartsy nerd staff, and worrying that my daughter would want to play basketball. "I mean, can you picture ME at a basketball game?" An older and wiser staff member looked at me and gave a very firm "YES. Your daughter isn't you. Being a good parent means supporting HER." "Oh…you're right." It was a huge shift for me, but an important one. Reply This applies to older kids (teens and beyond), but how have liberal/Democrat/left-wing parents responded – or should they respond – when their kids are conservative/Republican/right-wing, or tend towards these types of beliefs & causes? Reply Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.