It has been a while since I last wrote a blog on parenting. I was astounded to realise that I have set aside this theme for so long in my reflections, considering this is my most preferred area. Actually it was my friend Matthew from Willingness who pointed this out to me and reminded me that I have not addressed the subject in a blog for many weeks. As I sit now, waiting for the inspiration to write something, I keep being redirected to this recurrent thought: how is it that I focused on so many different topics. Everything that I write about is close to my heart, but at the same time I face a sense of inappropriateness deep within. It is almost as if I must stick to one topic and specialise on it. As I reflect, it finally dawns on me. Why should I be focused on one topic? The truth is that I am a complex human being. When I say complex I want to mean that I have different interests and can immerse myself with the same level of intensity in a variety of areas. I am a social worker. I am a parent coach. I am an HR executive and a Sports professional. All these things form me as an individual.
As I meditate deeper on this matter, I am taken back to the plentiful conversations about the need to settle down and focus. I recall my parents discussing with me (not always peacefully) about my interests, as they pressed me to make choices. I had to choose which sports to pursue. I had to choose which instrument to play. There were ample of such decisions. And, now, I realise that my siblings had similar conversations. Apparently, most children must go through these chats.
From my experience with families, it seems that this issue is recurrent in most parent-child interactions. What I would like to do in this blog is to challenge the very premise of this tendency. I want to ask why do kids have to choose. As I find myself unable to select one all-encompassing definition of me as an adult, I imagine it would be hard for children as well. Today, I refuse to refute the many interests that I have in order to focus on one particular area that defines me. The truth is that I am defined by the many things that are part of my life. It is the same with children, if not more powerful!
Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.