I have this recurring dream that I am really upset with my oldest child. In the dream she is never listening to me. I start to freak out and scream in my dream, sometimes I am even abusive towards her. I always wake up in a sweat and need a few seconds to realize that it was only a dream.
I have concluded that this recurring dream of my daughter not listening to me and me loosing my mind, is just my fear of losing control as a parent. The worst part about that dream is watching how I act and things I say to her. I don’t even recognize myself.
We aren’t always ourselves when we are afraid. We attempt to control others or things outside of us to help diminish the fear, but control is really just an illusion.
Heavenly Father doesn’t use control. He knows each of us are on our own path, and this includes our children. As a parent, we are a guide for our children. A guide is a person who advises or shows the way to others. A guide does not pull, drag, or manipulate others. Those are all forms of control.
So how do we guide our children instead of trying to control them?
It begins by working through our own fears. If we are afraid of the decisions our children are making or will make- then we will be acting from fear- which will cause us to go into control mode. This doesn’t mean that we just let our kids do whatever they want, because a guide is still leading others along and showing them the way. It does mean that you have to work through some of these fears and remind yourself who is really in charge, our Heavenly Father.
When I started to understand that my children are really on their own path and that it might look different than what I would do or what I expect it to look, then I could release some of my fears. They are going to have things placed on their path that they need to overcome themselves, but I can help show them the way. Not take the obstacles away, but lead by example and share any knowledge I may have for them. I can explain long-term consequences that they might not see in this moment. I can have them look at it from different angles. I can explain to them why I am choosing to set my own consequence if they choose not to follow my guidance. Not as an ultimatum or a way to control them, but to set up boundaries to keep them safe. They still have the agency to go against them and suffer the consequences.
I decided one day that no matter what happened to my children, I was going to be okay. I am going to do my best as their Mother and do my part, but the rest I have to trust in the Lord and His bigger plan for our lives. It is hard as parents to watch our kids suffer or go through hard things, but it is sometimes a part of their path. There will always be something they can learn from it, if they choose to. The more we try to force our own will onto our children, the less they will most likely learn from it or follow it. We are all designed to learn from our own experiences- that is what brings lasting change.
We as parents need to begin to fear less and trust more.
Trust that your children are here to learn and experience things for themselves. Trust them more and they will come back to their guide. They will trust what you are advising and how you are living your own life.
Trust in Heavenly Father’s agency. He is very respectful of our agency and we need to do the same for others.
Trust yourself. Trust that you will be guided by the Holy Ghost as you guide your children. Trust in the Lord to help you and comfort you- especially when your child isn’t being or doing what you think they should be doing.
Build trust in your relationship with your child, not fear. People always come back to those they trust.
Our children need a guide who will guide them back to their Heavenly Parents. A guide who loves them unconditionally, no matter how bumpy their path may look at the moment. A guide who is so secure in their own path, they don’t force their children’s behaviors to be a reflection of them as a parent.
As you start to work through your fears, you will realize that what your child has always been saying to you is: Lead me, guide me, walk beside me.
If you need help learning how to be a guide for your children, I would love to help. This can be especially helpful when there are two different beliefs in the home and your child is watching their parents on two different paths. Click here to set up a free call with me to learn more.