A few years ago, an intriguing movie call The Adjustment Bureau came out. It was the story of people who unknowingly lived according to a grand plan, overseen by a chairman. This chairman made sure his plan worked by working behind the scenes with “adjusters”.
It sounds rather complicated, but the bottom line was this: the Chairman had a plan for humanity, and he didn’t want anyone messing with it. He did everything imaginable to see that his plan was successful.
Many parents do that in their parenting. They have a Plan of what they’d like their kids to do and be as they grow up, and they will go to any lengths to be sure that the Plan is successful.
Have you mapped out a Plan for your child? Perhaps you have visions of your child excelling in high school sports and earning a college scholarship. Then you see her graduating, finding a good job, marrying a wonderful person, having beautiful kids, and making you a happy grandparent.
But what happens when our kids don’t want to follow the Plan that we’ve imagined for them? What if they don’t want to play sports in college? Or they don’t want to play sports at all? Or if they follow their music dream instead of attending college? Or they marry someone you don’t like?
Two years ago, our youngest daughter deviated from the plan we’d hoped she’d follow; she dropped out of college and volleyball after her sophomore year. Her plan was certainly not what we’d envisioned, but after a difficult journey that has resulted in amazing growth in her life, she is in a job she loves and finishing her degree online. She may not have finished her volleyball career in college, but she’s fallen in love with crossfit--almost as much as she did with volleyball.
Our plan--seeing her graduate after four years of playing a college sport--was not her plan. And today, she is a stronger, happier young woman because we let her develop her own plan.
Parents, will you cling to your Plan even when your child has other ideas? Will you let her change the Plan or will you manipulate and control, trying to push your Plan on her?
As parents, it’s not our job to map out our child’s life. It is our job to empower, guide, love, and support as she discovers her own path. Yes, even if it doesn’t include volleyball.