-Betty Friedan, U.S. writer (1921 - 2006)
We've talked before about how doing too much for your kids actually reduces their chances of becoming self-directed adults. What if Friedan's words can also apply to the mothers of these children? What if they are the ones becoming bored with life because of the very way they are raising their kids?
Sometimes, it is easier to focus on your children because then you don't have to take a close look at yourself. While your children certainly need your guidance, they don't need you to need them. This ironically increases the amount of stress that your child faces.
Think about it: Placing your own sense of significance on the shoulders of your children is not a loving thing to do at all. Even though it is difficult concept, it is vital to remember that kids need to struggle; you need to let them. Watching your child struggle is very painful, but it is ultimately very good for both of you. After all, when you let go of their lives just a little and let them struggle, you'll have the capacity to focus on your own life again. That is not a self centered endeavor; it is a centered-self one.
-Hal Runkel, LMFT, Author of ScreamFree Parenting