The Parent Game

I have great kids. You may have read before how proud I am of them and the people they are, the way they are growing.

But parenting can be hard, no matter the age of the child. The older they get, the different challenge that is posed and teenage years are bloody hard for anyone to go through. My teenage years weren’t all that easy and with development comes self awareness, which can be hell for a teen.

As parents, it is a constant battle of wits to stay one step ahead and keep the child developing in a happy as well as safe environment, a bit like lion taming, only difference being that mistakes are encouraged. True learning only comes on the edge of a challenge, without pushing the individual too far as that can be challenging and another reason for them to hate you in later life, giving fodder to their therapist.

That’s challenge in itself as you have to push them, let them make their own mistakes and let them go their own way. I remember hearing that parenting really was just a series of letting go throughout your kids’ childhoods, giving them more and more autonomy until they are old enough to make their own decisions, able to stand up in a world that needs a lot equipping for anyone to navigate well.

Today is one of those days I want my son to remember well. It didn’t start too well as his sister refused to have him along to the horse trials at Gatcombe Park, so Lady M went alone with daughter. Rory was a bit subdued but not upset, which was a good thing, so I decided to make it one of those days he’ll look back at fondly. We went to the local Co-op shop and bought supplies to make burgers and enough snacks to see us through the football this afternoon on TV.

A father and son lazy Sunday, favourite foods and sport on TV for us to enjoy. Being nine years old, he’s pretty easy to manage and tends just to get on with things. It’s the simple things that matter for him; games, food and snacks and he’s set.

The Teen isn’t quite so easy and she’s like me, a bit more headstrong, which takes a lot more talking down when she’s on one. The challenge is always there and as we are all groundbreaking in dealing with her age, it’s a constant learning time for us all.

All we can do is help her where needed, let her make her own mistakes and let go, bit by bit. If she falls, we pick her up, dust her off and make sure she learns from it as she will encounter it again later on in life.

And let go, bit by bit.

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