Parents love, care for, help, guide, support, teach and, sometimes, insist that their kids live life right. They use each day as a platform for molding and shaping their children into healthy and happy people. They react, adapt and adjust their parenting based off how the young ones’ lives are unfolding and it changes every day. All the while, everything they do is in the best interest of their kids.
The older the kids get the less the parents control and the more independent the younger generation becomes. Soon they graduate from being the student, becoming “grown ups” that then teach their own kids, loving, guiding and controlling the next generation. Somewhere along the lines we stop getting looked after and are left to look out for ourselves and others, which often means no one gets left to look out for us.
What if, however, we removed the “grown up” from our attitudes about health and everyone, no matter their age or place in life, followed the rules of life that kids are parented by?
Why should the laws of taking care of yourself stop when you become an adult?
In essence, what I’m asking is if we started thinking that the kid rules still apply to us even when we are grown up, how would that change our behavior? Similarly, what would we say if we were our own parents?
Age Doesn’t Change The Rules
When a kid yawns, we know they’re tired and we make sure they get rest. What do adults do? Either ignore it, cover it up (coffee/Red Bull/sugar), excuse it or pretend it didn’t happen in fear we will be judged as weak or lazy. What if we did that to our kids? It would be ridiculous and would destroy them. When and why do the rules no longer apply? What would we tell ourselves when we yawn at night but stay up anyway to eat and watch TV?
When a kid gets antsy and irritable from being inside too long, we send them outside to move around and get some sunshine and fresh air. When adults have the same experience, we either don’t realize it’s happening or ignore it, keeping right on staying inside days at a time.
We make sure our kids eat good food, including vegetables whenever we can. We don’t let them have too much sugar because it makes them crazy. Adults think they can eat whatever they want. Do we think that sugar makes kids crazy but is benign for us and that only kids need vegetables? Would we, as parents, let ourselves eat the kinds of food we are eating?
We don’t let kids stare at a TV or computer screen for too long and would never let them do it all day long, day after day. Would we let our kids be in front of a computer for 40 hours a week and then come home for all the screen time at night?
We want little ones to have fun and enjoy life. What if you noticed your kid hadn’t had fun and laughed in a few days or was seeming sad? You’d make sure to find something fun for them to do. What if you noticed they hadn’t laughed or had fun for weeks? Or a month? Something would be wrong. Why is it different and ok for adults to go through this and we don’t realize something is wrong?
We tell kids to be nice, polite and have good manners, say please, thank you and to be courteous (especially to elders), understanding, forgiving and humble and if they’re not we remind them to be. How often would we have to be reminded?
We tell them not to make a big deal about little things. Think about that in adult land.
We tell them to believe in themselves.
We want them to be curious and follow their passions.
We want them to be friendly, make new friends and interact with others.
We let them take risks, get dirty and scrape their knees but make sure they don’t do stupid things.
We don’t want them to follow what others do just to be part of the crowd.
We expect them to listen.
We expect them to tell the truth.
We tell them to be honest and respectful. To accept everyone for who they are. To not judge on appearances. To be honorable to their word. And on and on. We parent them, if nothing else, to simply be good people.
What would we, as parents, think about how we are living our life? What if your kids behaved like we do? How well do you think they would be holding up? Would you ever have let them get close to the point many of us are at? My guess is no.
Simply from the perspective of sleep and rest- if we didn’t listen to our kids’ cues, they would end up crazy, confused, irritable zombies. Sound like anyone you know? Add bad food, lack of movement, no fresh air/sunshine/outdoor time, limited social interaction and almost zero fun and that’s a recipe for one unhappy and unfortunate kid who’s missing out on life.
We spend our lives as kids having people look out for us then our lives as adults looking out for younger people. Somewhere in there we lost the realization that being grown up doesn’t mean we don’t need looking after. In essence we are all just people, and growing up shouldn’t mean we stop being looked after, even if we are the ones to do it. When you pay attention to yourself like you would your child you’ll notice all sorts of things that a parent would notice. Take care of some of those needs and you’ll thank yourself in no time.
Here’s to being your own parent and raising yourself well. 😊
Thanks for reading, have a great day!