As parents, we want “the best” for our children. The parenting journey consists of a path that involves an often zig zag trek forward as we stride the line between rescue and release. But what “the best” looks like may not be the same for every individual. Not even from the same family.
All three of my young adult children have forged their own unique paths. Some of those choices created both raised eyebrows and accolades. Choosing to do the “unfamiliar” thing or not take the culturally paved path can cause discomfort to others. Perhaps it points to the pressures (both visible and implicit) we feel regarding the appearance of success and expectations. Particularly in the area of parenting.
Recently, I participated in a thread regarding honors classes on a local moms’ face book page. A woman was asking for input as her daughter was signing up for her freshman classes. A variety of different responses emerged but it should come as no surprise that the topic elicited emotional and knee jerk reactions. And for some reason, I became the target of a particular attack.
My response emphasized that every child needs to do what’s best for them. I also affirmed that not taking honors classes right away or at all is ok. My son qualified for them as a freshman but also possessed a self awareness that spoke into his decision regarding them. He felt the extra stress for him was not necessary at the time. As a family, we have navigated these discussions through the last four years. He eventually added them, as well as AP classes, but not until the last two years. He is still receiving a scholarship to a college that is a good fit. Peace without pressure.
But standing against the status quo can feel threatening. We never know the roots behind the battles of resistance so we respond the best we can. So, despite the push back and the one sided “one-up” response from another parent, I rested in the peace of our reality and the hope that it liberates someone else to live their truth.
As someone once said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Isn’t that the point?
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