I shared a story not long ago titled The Best Dad; it was based on one of the eight case studies in my soon to be released book “Saving Our Sons” A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success. It’s appropriate to share another one of those case studies today about a Mom that never gave up on her son and became The Best Mom.
“Joey” came to see me about a year ago, he was depressed, insecure, and as a result became a target at school for the bullies. Joey’s life at home wasn’t much better, unfortunately his father assumed the role of bully there. According to Joey, no matter what he did it wasn’t good enough. He was constantly trying to live up to his dad’s expectations by doing and being the man he(his dad) never was.
Meet “Mama Bear”
Joey’s mom, a mother of three, began to be concerned that his behavior was much more than a “phase” and she decided to take action. After a couple of failed attempts at counseling, she was referred to The Quest Project®. Her instincts were spot on. She knew it was serious and that her son needed help. I began to work with Joey on a weekly basis; we made progress and this sad young man started to respond. With support from his Mom and my help, Joey decided enough was enough! He began to contemplate “who is the man I’m going to become.” He discovered just how important, gifted and unique he is.
Webster defines liberate this way:
“to free (someone or something) from being controlled by another person, group, etc. To give freedom or more freedom to someone. To take or steal something.”
What does the term liberate have to do with this? Well, that best describes Joey today, he is and feels liberated!
Being Your Authentic Self
You see that’s what happens when you allow someone to be what they’re meant to be, not try and force them to live your dream, or live the life you wish you had. I see parents all of the time who are trying to live vicariously through their children, and their children are miserable as a result. This is not how you become the best dad or best mom.
Think of it this way-what I refer to as “The Drift.” There is an internal feeling that adolescent boys experience very naturally, “The Drift” towards Dad or towards NOT Dad! To help visualize it I use this analogy:
“your adolescent son is drifting along the river in a canoe, he comes to a fork (adolescence). If he chooses left it is towards “being like dad.” If he chooses right it is not “being like dad.” What he doesn’t know is there is a third choice on his journey; to continue on-straight ahead-to choose “his authentic self.” There he can choose the BEST STUFF and give back the negative!”
It’s very important as a parent to help your son be his authentic self and recognize his gift.
Parents believe they are responsible to set their child on the right path; I agree IF the “path” is right for the child. Talk to your teenager and ask him what he believes is his gift-that’s where you start, that’s what Joey’s Mom did.
Did your parents allow you to go in the direction you wanted based on your gift?