I remember watching a documentary written and presented by Lord Professor Robert Winston who was looking at the differences between human and animal characteristics.
It was absolutely fascinating. I believe from an early age, we’re conditioned to behave and do things a certain way. Up until I moved away from home at the age of 25, my decisions were my parents’ decisions. After 25, although I no longer lived at home, I was still expected to conform. That wasn’t negotiable.
A parent’s role should solely be a supporting one so that they help, encourage and guide their children through their own journey. For many of us, life never works out like that. We conform because we have no choice and because we’re expected to. Drawing comparisons with animals. Animals are abandoned by their mothers at an early age and left to fend for themselves.
Although this may seem cruel to some, it allows them to make their own decisions and mistakes as they approach adult life. It seems appropriate, therefore that children should be encouraged to make their own decisions with the help of their parents. Making mistakes is the only way children really learn. We do the most learning when things go wrong.
As a parent, I support and encourage my children and as long as they’re not harming anyone, they need to experience and make their own mistakes. I also encourage them to make their own decisions, stand by their decisions and accept full responsibility for the decisions they make.
When we fail to make decisions for ourselves, we will always look for approval. Children need their own approval first, then a parent’s approval just to confirm they agree.
Animals in some respects are luckier. They live their own lives and don’t take 18 years to learn how to function independently.