By KELLIE KAMRYN
Sometimes as a parent, we get in the habit of doing for our children what they can do for themselves. It might seem easier or faster, yet some days we all feel the frustration of doing too much.
While I have always loved watching my kids grow and learn, I realized it was time to teach a little more about self-responsibility. At times, I feel like a broken record, so I decided to write a letter and give it to each of them. I have four children of different ages, so I worded it for all of them to understand. It went something like this:
To My Children,
As your Mom, I understand and appreciate that you like that I am here for you, listen to you, and do things with you and for you. I am happy that I have been able to provide a safe place where you feel free to let out your feelings, follow your heart, process life’s troubles and accept support.
Sometimes you might feel like I nag you or repeat myself – and I know you tease me about the things I repeat! – but there is a reason for this. I teach you things so that you will be able to do them when I’m not here. I’m not talking about me dying! While I will always be here for you, there will be times you may be far from home. I want the lessons I teach to stick with you so that when you need guidance, you’ve got a mental toolbox to draw from.
1. When I ask where your mitts, toque, scarf and ski pants are, or if your boots are warm enough, it’s not because I like to nag. I want you to be prepared in cold weather. One day, you might be on a bus or your car might break down. If you choose to live in Manitoba, Siberia, or maybe even Antarctica, you’ll be prepared. Maybe you’ll need help, but before the cavalry arrives, you will be able to keep warm and alive, and not lose any fingers or limbs because you forgot an important item of clothing. My lesson: Be prepared.
2. When I remind you to take your vitamins every day, it’s not because I am a broken record. Life gets busy. Maybe one day your jobs, or school, or family life will be really busy, and you forget to eat. If you get into the habit of taking vitamins, you will always have nourishment for your brain and body, lessening the chances of getting ill or injured. My lesson: Taking care of your body’s nutritional needs is important.
3. When I mention things like Qigong, physical activities and other ways to keep your physical body moving and in shape, it’s to remind you that you have the power to keep your body in top physical condition. Learning to feel your body physically is important. Then you know what you need to do to heal yourself. This also includes getting enough rest, which is why I set bedtimes. My lesson: Listening to and honouring your body is essential for your health and wellbeing.
4. When I tell you to take a deep breath and let it out in whatever manner you need, this is to connect you to yourself. Focusing on your breathing allows you those moments to make a decision on how to act and to remain in control of yourself, rather than react out of emotion to a particular situation. This will take practice. You’ll hear me say this often. My lesson: Being conscious of your breath is important for your piece of mind.
5. Asking for help with household chores is meant to get you used to the idea that your space matters. Whether you choose to live alone one day or have a big family, it’s important to take time once in a while to keep things neat and tidy. My lesson: Your personal living space matters.
6. Asking you to set reminders on your phone/iPad, keep an agenda updated and remember to bring keys or homework to where you need to go, is to help you organize so you can do all you want to do in your life. My lesson: More organization helps you go with the flow and accomplish more than you can imagine.
7. When I tell you that I need space, this is so I can recharge. You all matter a great deal to me, but I can only help everyone if I have a little alone time every once in a while to take a bath or a nap, or have quiet time to paint, or read. My lesson: Taking time for yourself is important. Then you’ll be able to do what you need to do in your life.
8. Everything I teach you comes from my own inner wisdom. Some were learned the hard way, some I learned from other people and figured out how to do. I would be flattered if one day you’re faced with a particular situation, and you stop and say, “What would Mom do?” But I think it’s more important to be able to stop and think, “What should I do? What do I need?” And that’s my most important lesson: Feel for yourself. Think for yourself.
I will always help you if you need. I will always listen if you need an ear. I will always have hugs for you. And I want to remind you that you have your own wisdom, and learning to hear yourself is the most important gift you can give to yourself. That is really what I want to teach you.
© Kellie Kamryn, 2016 www.kelliekamryn.com
Kellie Kamryn is an award-winning erotic romance writer and voice actor, as well as former columnist for Evolved World. Her articles receive a wide reception on her personal website and elsewhere for her commitment to keeping it real, and helping people get in touch with their inner truth by sharing her personal experiences. Kellie loves to hear from readers, so if you have an experience to share, please comment!