If I was to ask any parent “what is your biggest fear?” Or, on the flip side, “What is your greatest wish?” Their responses would most likely relate to their child's health and well being. It is what we parents do...worry about and hope for the best for our kids. We want happy, secure, healthy, and successful children.
Our fears are often triggered by the intangible. Our visceral response to the unknown is generally, an internal gasp and tightening, our minds shout, “no”, and then we try to ignore the unfamiliar, get ready to take it on, or run away as fast as we can. These responses are a nice (but not always useful) DNA gift from our ancient ancestors when they were confronted with the big, bad and ugly.
The assumption that the experiences we had as children are the safest, or best options for our kids, even if we were at times unhappy, disengaged and disenfranchised, are based on feelings of familiarity, the known.
We assume that our children have to go through the same rituals we did. Because, they will be smarter if they memorize the 4th grade Social Studies curriculum and pass the standardized test at the end of the year, they will become socially adept because they sat in a lunch room full of other children their age, or they will be well rounded because they participated in a scheduled, extra-curricular activity or two every single day.
How many times have you seen or heard something intriguing, but held back because of the fear of the unknown? The combination of fears and assumptions is not only holding our kids back; they are also restraining each one of us. When we can let go of some of those preconceived notions, try new things, branch out, step outside our comfort zones and embrace our real selves, a level of awesomeness, that can not even be imagined, will follow.