This post is part of Reverb11, a project that provides daily prompts in the month of December to help you reflect on the past year and set your intentions for the year ahead.
If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?
First, these seems like an odd prompt to me, because not everyone participating in Reverb has children, or wants to have children.
That said, I happen to be a pregnant lady (after years of thinking I didn’t want to have kids). So this question certainly resonates with me at the moment.
The main way in which I hope my child experiences life differently than I do is to care less about external approval, especially from parents and authority figures… to feel more confident in her own choices, and more able to tolerate other people’s disapproval or disappointment in those choices. There’s a difference between being a caring daughter/son and caring too much about what your parents think; there’s a difference between a responsible employee and one afraid to make choices that may be right, but which the boss won’t support, or won’t want to hear.
I guess this boils down to self confidence, and I’m sure a lot of it stems from being an only child and from spending 18 years of my life as an over-achieving A student. Honestly, I became like a Pavlovian dog for those As, and that addiction to external approval spilled into a lot of other areas of my life.
It’s funny, because in many ways, I’m very confident…I credit my parents with instilling me with strong self esteem. But I think my anxiety over other people’s approval gets in the way of my peace of mind a lot of the time… and I hope my child has a different experience in this regard.
How about you?