- Recently I heard a parent say about her child, "she doesn't know all I have sacrificed for her.
- The dictionary defines sacrifice this way: noun: An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure, as a verb: Offer to kill as a religious sacrifice.
- I have to ask myself, did this mother really offer a "sacrifice" in the name of her daughter? My best guess is no. Yet I have heard people make statements like this one many times when it comes to their children. I don't see providing for and raising children as any type of sacrifice. Any and all we do for our children should be done so in respect, nourishing and an understanding that when bringing a child into the world accepting the fact that I now must care for this tiny human until they are no longer under my care and/or can care for themselves. When they become adults they still need our care and love. We need to be a sounding board, a safe place to bring questions and concerns. And although we may see a situation that needs our advice, we must allow them to live their lives as they see fit. One of the hardest rules to follow, keeping my nose out of my adult child's business unless they ask. There are a couple acceptions to the rule, domestic violence, and child abuse, and we need to educate ourselves in these areas in order to give the best advice. Even then we have to allow our child to make their own choices. When they continue making painful choices, it breaks our hearts, and all we can do it offer our knowledge and support until they are ready to make a change.
- As a parent my life changes, my priorities and needs for myself may have to change in exchange for the needs of my child. This isn't a sacrifice, this is being a responsible and loving parent. I make these changes willingly and without feelings of loss. The only feeling and action is the unconditional love for my children. This doesn't mean I approve of all their choices and the way they may have chosen to live. It simply means I stay in my space and assure them I am always available and love them. Being a parent isn't easy at times nor rewarding for that matter, however, we do what is expected and do so willingly and lovingly to best of our ability. Telling a child, " you don't know the sacrifices I made so you could have", is shaming to the child, causing them to question and debt themselves and their worthiness. In order to raise confident and able humans, we first must recognize being a parent is never a sacrifice, but a privilege and honor.
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