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20160621_102206Dear Sons,

We have known for a while that you think we moan a lot and that you feel that we are telling you off all the time, in fact it’s clear to see the frustration and the anger that it sometimes generates in you. Regardless of that, if we ever doubted it those doubts were washed away when you became old enough to voice your feelings, which you now do so well.

We know you think that it is tough on you, but it’s clear that you don’t see that it is not easy for us either.

You may not realise it, but this parent business is quite difficult and we try so hard to get the balance right: To give you freedom of expression (to help you find yourselves – your true personality), whilst at the same time instilling the values and behaviour that you need to become good, fair, considerate and empathetic adults.

You have not yet learnt that when we are being relaxed around you this is not a sign for a ‘free for all’, not us eliminating boundaries and rules from our lives forever, but us relaxing them for you to show us that you understand and that you can deal with that – which evidently is not yet the case.

We are tired of the moaning too, we are tired of our rules – or rather, of having to repeat them constantly. We understand now why many parents give up and ‘spoil’ their children, just letting them have their own way and letting them do things on the child’s terms – that is the easy option and trust me it’s one that looks so appealing and becomes more tempting day by day. Yet we KNOW how damaging that can be.

The term ‘spoilt’ is such an appropriate one and children brought up without firm boundaries and without an understanding that they can not always get their own way become difficult adults who struggle to maintain healthy relationships, they become selfish adults with an expectations that they deserve their own way – no matter what the cost to others around them.

We want you to be generous and open, to have qualities that people are attracted to and appreciate, we want you to love and to be loved and to have successful relationships with people who value these qualities. That is what we are trying to achieve – for your sake.

Yes we want nice, polite, well mannered sons who we can be proud of. Yes we want people to think that we are doing a good job and raising our children well and it would be disingenuous to suggest that this is all about you guys, but it is not all about us – and we fear that this is all that your 8 and 9 years allow you to think.

I guess that you are simply too young now to ‘get it’ and to appreciate it – so here is a blog for your future. Maybe one day, possibly during your teenage years (with tensions no doubt building between us) I can pull this out and hopefully you will be old enough and mature enough to understand it and to acknowledge its value.

Then again – maybe not. And do you know what? – That’s just fine.