My daughter thinks I’m a lax parent.

How pushy are you as a parent? Do you wish for your children to get good grades? Are they involved in after school activities, which you take a keen interest in? What future do you dare to dream for your child?

I am sure if we are honest many parents are highly ambitious. However there are times in life when something stops us and brings us back to reality, to what really matters. This week was one such week in Ireland.

Today in Ireland there are a large number of people attending their fourth funeral in two days. Less than a week ago five small_5286519588girlfriends aged 19 and 20 went ice skating. They said goodbye to their families, walked out the door, and never came home. Four were killed instantly when the car they were travelling in crashed into a van. The fifth young girl in the car remains in a serious condition.

As a mother to children who are old enough to leave my side, hearing about this accident made me feel sick. It could have been my child. I could have opened the door to a police man who would change my world forever. As I write my eldest daughter is in Australia, travelling to Sydney with friends. I’m sure she is having a wonderful time, but every day a part of me worries, and every night before I go to sleep I send a little message to her. I do so not by viber or text message, but the old fashioned way, by wishing, “I hope you have a good day sweetheart, please stay safe”.I whisper, in the hope she hears me.

When she returns she will be finishing her final year in college. She will have choices to make. Her choices not mine. The same is true with my daughter who will be finishing school in 2016. She sometimes frets about her future and about doing well in exams. When I comment that it will all work out in the end, she accuses me of being a lax parent, and thinks I should take a bit more interest in how she is doing and be more ambitious for her.photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mommypants/3071841576/">Nikki McLeod</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

What she doesn’t realise is that I do indeed take great interest in her. When she wakes in the morning I look to see if she appears tired. I wonder did she sleep okay? As she returns from school I listen, ask questions and wonder occasionally at all she may not be telling me. As she frets over an assignment I recognise in her a willingness to get things right, and her determination to get a good grade. As we sit together over a meal or watching television I look at her and marvel at how she is growing up. I see her for a moment as others do and I am proud of the person she is becomming. I smile inwardly remembering the small girl she used to be, the one I still see in her sometimes.

My daughter may chastise me for not being ambitious enough for my children, or for not pushing them in life. Maybe in many ways I am too laid back. However I think it is also true, that she and I have different check lists.

As I think of the final funeral taking place today I remind myself that there is nothing else that matters to me, but for my forever little ones, to stay safe, and be happy. That is my goal today and it will be unchanged twenty years hence. I may be lax in many ways, but on that I am determined.

****************
On a final note my thoughts are very much with the family and friends of the four young girls who were killed, and also with the two young men in the other vehicle and young Dayna who is seriously injured.
Codladh Sámh Charmaine, Niamh, Gemma and Aisling.

photo credit: Nikki McLeod via photopin cc
photo credit: tillwe via photopin cc

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20 thoughts on “My daughter thinks I’m a lax parent.

    1. Yes I think so too. I especially agree with ‘wanting for them their childhood’. School and exam pressure can seriously interfere with it. Maybe in time her check list will also change.

    1. I agree it is beyond sad. One of the young girls was an only child and her father is also dead. How impossible is her mothers grief? We can only be grateful for today and hug our children.

  1. I have those same wishes for my children: safe and happy. I constantly tell them that nothing else is more important than following what brings you joy, and your health. All the other stuff is periphery. (That accident happens near my home place. Haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. RIP )

  2. My heart hurts for the families of such a tragedy. It sounds like you are a mother filled with love for her children, and allowing them to develop into who they will feel comfortable with instead of someone you expect them to be. Good job, mom!

  3. There is too much buzz over “success” nowadays – too much pressure to be successful. I think you are doing the right thing: teaching your daughters to be themselves, which is a true success.

  4. Oh, my heart goes out to the families who lost their daughters and to the other families involved. That is a parent’s worse nightmare; getting a phone call or a knock on the door. Just from reading your posts, Tric, I don’t think you’re lax and if you are from your daughter’s perspective, it’s probably because you’re trying to see that fine line of balance which is pretty much invisible for most of us. I do the same thing. You want to show you’re interested and involved without being too overbearing or over protective.
    With our daughter living in her college apt, about two hours from home there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t say a silent prayer for her safety. And each time my son goes out with friends, that same prayer is said. It’s a feeling of helplessness but part of their growing up process; parents letting go. And letting go is oh, so hard at times. Anyway, thanks for sharing your parental thoughts and the sad news, too, so that many more can lift up their hearts in the family’s honor…

    1. Thank you.I’m not sure I’ll ever be the parent they think I should be, but I’m what they got, and their day will come.
      It must be so hard for them to lose their future. One of the girls is an only child and her father has also passed away, it is unimaginable.
      I wonder will we ever get used to our children not being home and just switch off? I’m glad I’m not alone with my worrying.

      1. Definitely unimaginable, Tric…we all have trials to bear but some have even tougher times that I can’t even fathom…in answer to your question about switching off?? I don’t think so, so good luck to both of us! 🙂

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