I reflect on this often and my anxiety is that we are too often rather bossy and want to control those that we look after. I think that it is so important that young people learn to make wise choices and the key to this is to adopt the posture of ‘journeying’ with them. As we walk and share their journey there is a gentle dialogue taking place and occasionally we let them make a decision that we wouldn’t have made and they might stumble in to a pot hole. This, in my opinion, is what learning is all about. The overly instructive and controlling model is a highly stressful one and I know that I am sometimes guilty of this!
I sometimes say that with our children up to the age of 11 we should be ‘between’ them and the world, from 11 – 18 we are ‘beside’ them and then, as they move on after school, we are ‘behind’ them and the world.
It is sometimes tiring and demanding to allow young people to make their own mistakes but I think in the long run this is best thing for them. I am very much learning this with my teenage son and do not always find it easy!