Sometimes I think that it is not so much ME that is raising my kids, but that they are raising me. There is definitely plenty of give and take and I have had to adapt to them as much as they have had to adapt to me. In the world I grew up in, I often heard “This is my house and I make the rules!” or “It’s my way or the highway.” Even though I am the one in charge, that isn’t really the way my family works. Over the years, there has been a definite need for some adaptability.
We parents adapt with little things all the time—often without really noticing it. We may start to buy food and groceries that our kids like, change the schedule around to fit the lives of the people who live in our homes, make accommodations for taste and preference. But, we also adapt on larger scale too. Life has a way of sending us children who prove to us that we definitely do not have all the answers and no matter what we THOUGHT we were going to do before our child entered our life, the reality of living, loving, and working with this separate person forces us to examine some of our theories and intentions and make adaptations.
Adapting doesn’t mean giving in or giving up. In fact, I have met some rather stubborn parents who were determined that they were going to do things their way regardless. These situations tend to breed power struggles and create distance and poor communication between parent and child. Think of your ability to adapt as a parent as growing your flexibility and creativity. You can still be in charge you just may have to find new and creative ways of doing it!
Also: Are You Rescuing?