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March 22, 2018

My Project: Stop Projecting

“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”
(Chinese proverb)

 

I am just old enough to remember movie theaters that would rise and fall with the right projectionist, the man or woman feeding the film onto the big screen.

 

While our modern digital projectors no longer need those folks anymore, there are still plenty of projectionists out there. In fact, all or us, at one time or another, project onto people.

 

We all do it, whether we want to or not. We inevitably compare the lives of our children to the life each of us led as a child. But just because we all do it doesn’t make it right. We are doing our children a disservice if we either try to recreate our own childhood or try to run away from it. Both of these reactions are based on the assumption our children are growing up under the same time and place (and parenting) that we did.

 

Instead of either running from or running to your own experience, try taking an objective look at what’s right in front of you. Your child is a unique person whose experiences are totally different from yours at his/her age.

 

So today, let’s each ask ourselves: how might I be projecting my own childhood onto my own children?
* Do I expect them to be more grateful than I was, because they have so much more than I did?
* Do I need them to avoid the same mistakes I made, because deep down I hope they don’t turn out like me?
* Do I give them way too much, and try to make their lives way too easy, because I had so little and had to work so hard?

 

Peace begins with pause,

 

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