As a parent you never want your child to come to any harm. You want to make the best decisions for them, and you hope in time your children make the best decision themselves. However the point of letting go, which opens the possibility of mistakes occurring is a scary one. When is it right? if ever?
Letting go, and saying, your life, you decide. I will not push you, pester you, into behaving and doing things which I (the parent) would be happy with, is hard. Its hard to not emphasize, insist, brainwash, convince and often also use emotional blackmail, knowing or unknowingly.
As a child I sometimes found it hard to do what I wanted, as I knew I shall meet my mothers disapproval. I found it hard to resist things, but I knew I could not disappoint my mother. Being the middle child, I got over the 'approval' need mighty quick. Soon I would do what I wanted, which often lead to arguements, fights and many a tears for me, but never lies.
My mother is a tough cookie and she is not open to manipulation. Sad. She has seen through me, and continues to do so even today. She was not the modern parent, who wants to be a 'friend' and a popular one at that. Often being a friend of your child makes it unfair to pull rank as a parent when needed. We cant always be liked, and often doing things in the best interest of your child, is met by tantrums and 'i dont like you' type of comments. I guess its part of the job. Being disliked is the price you pay for correcting and guiding your child. And its often the harder route. Agreement and popularity and ease of parenting come as a package, at a steep cost.
It is only later in life that I could make decisions independently and stick to them. Initially I found hard taking decisions which my parents did not like/ were not in agreement with me. They said so clearly, this is what We think, now its up to you. hmmm! Tough one that. Sometimes the ma-isms were tacked on for further effect.
In my mid twenties, my mother told me something, which I will always remember. She said, we parents are like hands, we hold you when you are small, as you grow, we help you walk, and then the hands stand by your side, protecting you, but not holding you. If you fall, we shall pick you up, but dont keep turning around to check, we are here, always, walk ahead, confidently, make decisions as an individual, because standing as we are behind you with our support, we cant see what you see. Walk ahead, knowing that if you stumble or fall we will be there.
What she later added was, our life experiences are different, you see things which I cant imagine, you meet people, see places, do things which I have not. Your decisions are based on your sight. I am a parent, but sadly, now that you have grown up, you need to be let into another secret, I (mother) dont know everything. No I am not the walking encyclopedia you thought I was as a child. I know a lot, but not everything. This I admit came as a surprise. Mum not knowing everything, meant she could make mistakes too. This was hard to digest and took me a while to get my head around.
That I think is parenting, letting the child know what you think, what is right, wrong, black, white and also grey, and also your own limits as a parent. And let them decide. You can not influence them or push them without getting a reaction. You cant be popular or liked all the time. You dont own them. They have their own personalities, character traits and destiny. As a parent, you just need to be there. Always, unconditionally, without sarcasm, scathing remarks or bitterness. Dont chase your children away with disapproval, welcome them to discussion! Let them grow into thinking individuals who see logic and reason and have the confidence to chase their own dreams.