In stating, “…mothers and daughters cannot serve as best friends to the other…,” Linda Perlman Gordon and Susan Morris Shaffer add in an excerpt [at Oprah.com] from Too Close for Comfort: Questioning the Intimacy of Today’s New Mother-Daughter Relationship, that the …basic question… a mother must answer is: “...Do you trust your daughter to be an independent and self-sufficient woman? Can you support her in making choices and doing things differently from how you would do them?”
The answer a mother offers lies within her ability or inability to trust the manner and method by which she has raised her daughter and the degree to which she, the mother has lived by those standards and principles she has asked her daughter to adhere.
So much of parenting lies beyond laying out rules and discipline, but entails living by the code defined by the concepts you espouse.
Parents get into trouble when we ask our children to do as we ask, but not as I behave.
This amounts to living without integrity.
When our behavior and decision-making demonstrate a lack of integrity, exhibit no congruity that links what we declare to believe with our choices, our children lose faith in us.
Much of our ability to get our children to live by the code we set down lies in their ability to trust that we know what we are doing.
While a toddler has limited choices, that toddler when an adolescent at fourteen-years-old possesses the opportunity to employ concepts we encourage them to live by or to ignore them.
A decade down the road the choices of a young adult in their twenties can and do include the act of maintaining relationship with us their mother and/or father, including us in their lives, telling us of their challenges and seeking our counsel, or ignoring us and distancing themselves from our presence.
So much of how our daughters, and sons interact or avoid us in their adulthood rests upon the way we have behaved both with them, their observance of how treat and relate with others, and the consistencies or inconsistencies of our actions and choices in both arenas.
While our decisions may some or often-times anger our daughters and sons, the truth of our choices and our intent to do right by them and others always shines through.
Do our actions emanate and rise from a place of goodness that at times bears faults reflective of our imperfections as human individuals?
Or do our actions bear callousness born of a careless attitude?
Have we in the maelstrom of trying to remain centered upon the direction of our lives forgotten to remember that the eyes of our children remain forever watching us?
Have we lost awareness that what the words they hear us speak and the behaviors they observe us enact shape what they come to believe and feel about us as their parents, and more importantly determines the human individuals they deem us as persons who possess free will?
Tags: action, adolescent, behavior, belief, child, children, choice, congruity, daughter, decision, discipline, faith, feelings, free will, integrity, Linda Perlman Gordon, mother, Oprah.com, parent, parenting, rules, son, Susan Morris Shaffer, toddler, Too Close for Comfort: Questioning the Intimacy of Today's New Mother-Daughter Relationship, trust, What? Swallow it whole? by n.clark, young adult