it is not my job as Derek and Charlee's mom to tell them what to think and how to feel. My job is to PROVIDE for them and keep them SAFE. Not only must I provide food and shelter, but I also must provide them with the opportunity to speak their mind. I must allow them to feel safe when sharing their feelings. And by opportunity, I mean actually listening to them when they have something to say, even if it is NOT important to ME in that particular moment. I am in no way saying that they can say and do whatever they want because if that was the case, I would not be providing them with the tools to be respectful, kind, and thoughtful human beings, but I am saying that they should have the freedom to sit with their feelings and reflect on events, so that they can learn, grow, and mature into teenagers and then adults that responsibly express themselves - even if the way they express their emotions is different from how I would handle a situation.
Now don't get me wrong. This is NOT easy. It is a daily
STRUUUUUUGLE for me to do this consistently. But I know that I have to do it. I am slowly realizing that I do not want my kids to be like me or be better than me at (fill in the blank with any childhood trauma that causes me to react to situations the way I do). I want my kids to be the best version of themselves. That is the only way they will truly be happy. And I can't desire that complete happiness if I expect them to fulfill MY wants and needs.