authenticity 101

curiosity

Just Be Curious


The Girls

As a parent of teenage girls, one of the biggest challenges has been finding the balance between creating the boundaries for their safety and allowing for the necessary learning from mistakes. Of course there has to be structure and consequences, but there needs to be room for the pushing back and discovering their own set of values and who they are. It is incredibly hard to watch my children make choices that I don’t agree with, or repeat mistakes that they have already made and “should” have learned from. The temptation to launch into sermons and manage their lives for them is very powerful! Even with all that I know about each of us interpreting the world in our own way, the fear that their current choices will have an irrevocable impact on who they will grow up to be creates anxiety and an inability to connect with them in the moment. Living in a future based on conjecture is not a particularly efficient way to connect in a loving way with my children in the present.

As the month of January arrives, it is inevitable that we hear and read about resolutions. I’ve enjoyed reading some interesting blogs, namely Christine Kane’s (www.christinekane.com) and Brené Brown’s (www.brenebrown.com) who both suggest the choosing of a word as an intention for the year rather than having resolutions. I thought about this and decided that my word for the year would be “curious”. When I am curious, there is no room for judgement. If I am truly being curious, I am open-minded, available to hear the answer and not simply wanting confirmation of something I already know. There’s room for dialogue, for new information and a new perspective.

As a parent, I want to give my girls a voice of their own and the opportunity to make their own choices. This means there will be some level of conflict and drama. I need to continually balance my responsibility as a parent to put in place age-appropriate boundaries and consequences while respecting and encouraging their growth and learning through trial and error. And I need to stay curious and flexible when the need for control shows up.

As I strive to be more curious this year, what will you strive for? What word would you pick to create a new perspective for yourself?