Funny how a child in the house can make you relive your own childhood. Remember when your parents said that you would understand things better, (like their decisions and bad moods) when you had children of your own? Well, now things have finally come full circle and here you are getting to relive your own childhood through your children. Reality is that in many ways, having children allows you to be a kid again. For a lot of people this can be a truly healing experience. Things that you may have missed out on, certain aspects of your childhood that were missing or misplaced can find their way back into your life through your own children.
For other adults, being allowed to be a kid again, and make moments magical with your children is a way to break the chain of pain. While research shows that abuse and other less than desirable traits of parenthood and adulthood are often passed on from one generation to the next, the truth is the decision is yours. One of the best things about being a mom or a dad is that YOU can decide which traditions you want to carry on and which you want to leave behind. You can decide about which traits of your own parents and your own childhood you want to instill in your children, and which you don’t. And, you can forge a whole new set of rules and traditions that your children will pass on to theirs. Life really is a beautiful thing!
According to child development, experts it is extremely important that parents play with their children. Play, in the sense that they get involved in childhood and remember just how fleeting and important this time in the life of your child really is. Whether you wander to the backyard and play kickball, play basketball in the driveway or sit down and do a 500-piece puzzle, your interaction is an important part of your child’s healthy development.
It is equally important to remember that while you can revisit childhood you cannot relive your own childhood THROUGH your child. Instead, be content in being the audience and in allowing your child to be a kid with the nurturing encouragement of your hand and heart. Living through your child, only makes them responsible for your own anguish and undeniably hinders their development. If you wanted to be a quarterback or a famous dancer and never had that chance when you were a kid be careful that you don’t so heavily impress upon your kid YOUR desire as to make it theirs. Instead, softly encourage and readily listen to the sounds of your child’s life, rather than your own.
Finding time to have fun, be silly and truly live like a child is one of the gifts that having a child can bring into your life. When is the last time, besides that college hazing incident when you could find so much pleasure dressing up as Santa Claus? What chances do you have to hide Easter eggs on a spring afternoon, with your fingers still smelling like vinegar because you were up half the night decorating and coloring the eggs? How many more opportunities in life will you have to bake birthday cakes, and to wake up your children with silliness? What about the tooth fairy? The sheer fact that children believe in all of these things and that you can be part of that magic, can be a wonderful thing for you to relive. How many more backyard marshmallow barbecues will you be invited to in your lifetime, where you can laugh about having charred and sticky marshmallows in your hair?
Plus, when your kids see you, truly see you playing and enjoying the same things in life that they do and playing along, they will feel safe and secure. Not only will you be lifting the heart of your child, but also you will be lifting your own heart and forming a bond between the two of you that is precariously amazing. These are the things that childhood memories are made of, and these are the fibers that will make your own kids better parents to your grandchildren one day. What better gift is there to offer your family than that?
There is a time for order and discipline. There is a time to be stern with your kids. There are times when you don’t feel much like playing, which is precisely when you should get out the makeup box and allow your child to paint your face. While children will respect these times for rules and order, you also have to believe in the ability to be like your child and to spend some time in their world, having fun and carefree moments of pure silly.
So go ahead and be a kid again. Parade around in your underwear. Have a pillow fight and tell some scary story under a home made sheet tent holding nothing but a flashlight. Teach your child all the things you know about being a kid, about having fun, about being silly and about love while you have the chance to do so. Heal your own heart along the way and be present in every moment possible with your child. As you are probably well aware, this time in your life will not last forever.
What is the silliest thing that you have done with your kid? What things do you enjoy reliving with your children know that you are a parent? Has having children helped you to heal any of your own personal wounds of childhood?