People around the world wonder what the secret to happiness is. Billions of dollars are spent on books, seminars, therapists, etc. in the search for ultimate bliss. I thought I would never find it. I did all of the things that people told me to do. I graduated college… a few times. I got married. I have three amazing kids. There was one problem. That was not my road. That was not the road that I genuinely chose for myself. My parents, society, and authority figures decided what my path would be. I never realized that my anger stemmed from an inner voice fighting the influence. I was essentially brainwashed.
This may explain why I talk about choices with my children on a constant basis. I push them to do well in school, but not for the same reason as some other parents. I simply know that their success in grade school will determine the amount of choices they give themselves when they turn 18.
I raise them as agnostics. They know their ancestry and are proud of their Jewish heritage. However, they do not attend synagogue or recite any prayers. We have the most amazing theological discussions because of their blank canvas. They know that the choice of belief systems is entirely in their hands. They know that their beliefs may change or evolve. At the end of the day, they have choices.
I impress upon them that I will not be disappointed with them for life choices. Alright, I might not be cool with prison or crack. Other than that, their life is THEIR ducking life. They can have kids, have no kids, stay single, get married, have 20 cats, live in a tiny cabin in the woods, choose any sexual orientation, etc. Why do I want to afford them all of these opportunities? I truly love them. I will not live vicariously through them, nor will I make them conform to societal ideas of superiority.
I want them to enter the adult world with an open mind about everything.
Love your kids, raise them to be kind, show them the world, be honest with them, and teach them that life is their exploration.
One more thing: Why do I say that it is too late for me? Maybe I should not feel that way. However, there were forks in the road that existed. If I were to make a u-turn now, I would find that the road has been destroyed beyond repair. Duck.