Limitations are not something I accept very freely. In fact, in my 20’s before I met my husband, I actually dumped a guy I had been happily dating because he made one comment that insinuated I wasn’t capable of accomplishing a particular goal. Here, I’ll talk a bit about the importance of encouraging our children.
This response to limitations goes back to my childhood. Growing up, my mom used to tell me “You can do anything you want to do. Just set your mind to it and go for it.” And my dad was constantly a source of encouragement, helping me discover options to achieve greater success.
Not once do I ever recall either of my parents verbally or non-verbally putting limitations on me. Their attitude was and always has been the sky’s the limit. Even to this day, if I were to tell them “mom/dad, we’ve decided to adopt twin babies from Ethiopia” they might hesitate in their response in an effort to determine if I were joking or not, but ultimately they would be supportive. (Just to clear the record…we are NOT planning to adopt babies from Ethiopia, at this time.).
I really appreciate my parents for the way they encourage me. I’m so thankful to have been blessed with a loving, supportive, and open-minded family. This weekend, I witnessed a heartbreaking exchange between a mother and her grown son. I’ll spare you the intimate details of the conversation, but I will share that I’m still furious about the way this mother responded to her son during a very difficult storm in his life.
The son was sharing some exciting news with his mother regarding a recent career decision that of course comes with risks but is something he’s passionate about. With her eyes rolling, she responded with complete negativity and an obvious lack of confidence in her son’s abilities. We try to make sure we prevent our children from having prejudices.
Laughing, she shook her head and didn’t say a word. Her body language and facial expressions said it for her though – “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.” She then proceeded to change the subject indicating she had no interest in what he was talking about. Even though she didn’t know a single thing about the type of work he would be doing, she didn’t bother to ask any questions in an effort to try to understand it better. Instead, she quickly jumped to her own conclusions and passed judgment shutting him down.
My heart ached for him as he mumbled, “well that went over like a turd in a punch bowl!” Moms, please don’t put limitations on your children, young or grown. Instead, lift them up with the power of your words. And trust me, your words are very powerful to the people who love you. There are so many ways moms can help or can get help.
Have you encouraged someone in your life today? If not, take a moment to do so. We all need encouragement, especially from our loved ones. Make sure your family knows that you love them, support their choices, and trust their abilities to soar to great heights with any challenge they face. Everyone needs a cheerleader in their corner. Who will you be cheering for today?