I had a great childhood. Like many young girls, I wanted dolls, nice clothes and fun times. The constants in my life were my mom, dad, siblings, cousins and school friends. I have the best dad! He always ensured we had everything we needed. So, he worked very hard to provide for his family of six. I also had the best mom! She was the constant in my life. I can remember her smiling face at every milestone in my life. My first day of school. My cheerleader when I was chosen to sing the national anthem at my primary school graduation. First at the school for my high school selection results. In the front row for my High School Graduation as I got a full certificate. At my bedside the entire time when my first child was born. The first person to ride in my new car. A lot of “firsts”, right? She made the greatest sacrifices for us, and so I always felt like I needed to constantly show gratitude for those sacrifices.
Most of us grew up with that motherly figure in our lives; mom, grandmother, aunt, sister; mainly the person that had the greatest hand in raising you. We surely felt their love as children and young adults. When you love someone, you never want to see them get hurt, or see them to go through the hurts and pain you went through. So, you shield them from those things. As those children start to get older, they begin to explore life and want to know what it’s like to live life on their own terms. I know the feeling all too well.
I have spoken with many women who experience the same thing as me, so, just to clarify, this is a post to show how we can love our children, and, by trying to protect them from the hurt and pain we have experienced, do some damage in three common ways: their money mindset, their dreams and their mental & emotional wellbeing.
- Money mindset
- Going after my dreams
- Mental and emotional wellbeing
We may go through financial trauma at different stages in our lives. According to the severity of the situation, it can leave a real mental block and cause you to safeguard yourself by telling yourself a story that you must try to save your money, or that you are not good with money. I’ve had some serious trauma in this area myself. If you heard my story, you would know that I had to close my business in 2013, and that brought with it the reality of not having an income. So, when I went to the grocery with my children, I would tell them not to pick up things they wanted because it was “too much money”. I can imagine how those words would transfer to their little brains and do some damage later on in their lives. As my circumstances have improved, I no longer say I can’t afford things. If I am not able to get the item at that moment, I say out loud that I will get it another time. Conditioning our children’s money mindset is so important as it helps them not only in the area of money, but in so many other areas of their lives. Which brings me to my next point.
Going after my dreams
When I was 18, I wanted to go to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. I loved performing and wanted to become a music star. I did my SAT’s and brought home the application forms. I believe the thought of sending me away, and the finances that would be involved was too much for my mom to handle. So I was encouraged to go to school in my own country instead, and in a more “recognized” field. Again, this was an expression of safety, and, while she meant well, it did some damage. I can go down the thought pattern of what my life would have been if I had the opportunity to go after my dreams, but, I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I would not have met my husband or had my 4 beautiful children or my business. I have decided, however, that I won’t protect my children from the places their dreams can take them in life. I speak to them regularly about what they like to do, and create as much opportunity as I can for them to explore their talents and gifts. I know it may not always be easy, but I want you to consider this.
Mental and emotional wellbeing
Going through childhood is exhausting! Between peer pressure, bullying, puberty and relationships, children experience a lot in their first 16 years. I remember the many times I was sad because my best friend won’t play with me, when I had my first boy crush, and when I wanted to go to that party but I was not allowed to. Emotions galore! My mom did a great job of showing me sympathy and love during those times. I had no one else to talk to, though. I know most moms may not be expert therapists, but I believe there is an abundance of information out there now that was not present two decades ago that can help us to understand how to recognize when our children need help with their emotions. It’s even more important now because of the challenges they face as a result of being home for over a year because of the pandemic. I masked alot of my emotions because I felt as though I did not have the right avenue to talk about my feelings. This transferred to my adult relationships. I am now in my 40’s and I’m finally able to express myself more because of much internal work.
So, you see how much damage can be done when we love our children so much, and protect them from what we may have gone through? Let me know in the comments if this post has resonated with you.