Sometimes television catches me by surprise. I enjoy tv and find it to be an effective escape at times. I was watching Grey’s Anatomy this evening and one of the characters sought some advice from an older wiser woman, a mom. She was asking about a teen that she was mentoring, sponsoring, sort of parenting. The woman was struggling with her role for this teen, and the older woman says,
“You’re building a boat…They’re going to sail away from us…it’s inevitable. Our job is to build a boat strong enough that when they decide to, they can get back to us safely.”
The boat is your relationship with your child, or your charge in the case of the character. With a strong relationship to come back to, your child will feel open to new experiences and know the freedom of being their own person.
There’s also a really wonderful children’s book that shows how toddlers look for their independence while looking back to their safety net, their anchor, their mom or whatever. And it reminds us how important it is for our kids to feel safe in order to take risks and try new things!