Yes, it’s official; there is a teenager in the house!

Recently my daughter had her 13th Birthday and that means two things; neither of which I’m readily willing to admit:

  • I’ll soon be sharing my car
  • I’m getting older

All kidding aside, I am very proud of my daughter’s growth and the person she is becoming.  Her ambition, strong mind, and compassion for animals and young children are truly impressive, and I like to think that I’ve had a role in this.

Of course, as with any relationship – impacting one another is a two-way street.

Years ago, just prior to receiving the news that I was pregnant I had been journaling about my readiness to enter a new stage of growth.  Motherhood has certainly delivered!

From the moment my daughter arrived in my belly, she has been and continues to be, my greatest teacher.

After all, it’s a big deal living with your very own LIFE COACH.  Did you know that kids are life coaches in disguise?

Most people hire a coach for an hour or two a week or month maximum, but when you are a parent, you are in the serious business of being ‘coached’ and you are receiving skill development training 24/7.

Anyone who works with children on a regular basis can probably relate too.

Life coaches, just like kids will:

1. Challenge us to move beyond our comfort zone and question limiting beliefs

It’s easy to become complacent or live according to limiting thoughts and habits, but through their questions, perspectives, and needs, our kids constantly remind us that there is more to life than our own version of it and they continually push us into new territory.

2. Call us on our stuff!

Candid, matter of fact and living in the moment, kids have the ability to laser into what is going on, what is working and what isn’t. And if we don’t train it out of them, they will readily speak their minds and truth – even if it isn’t always easy to hear.

3. Get us to dream bigger and have more fun…

Kids have goals and dreams that may seem highly ambitious or perhaps even impossible, but they aren’t clouded over by the U-Haul of doubt, worry and fear that adults have acquired. The ability to live in the realm of possibilities is where opportunity awaits, and excitement for life resides – essential qualities to making positive changes and becoming better versions of our self.

It’s easy to discount views that differ from our own, or to place blame on others when we feel triggered by their observations or responses. But when we choose to see this simply as information, rather than a personal affront, and we respond instead of react; we enter an amazing ‘real life’ learning space.

Other people, especially our very own children, can (if we let them) give us a valuable reflection that we simply can’t get from looking in a mirror. Here we are guaranteed to receive massive growth and tremendous pruning.

These daily growth lessons can be challenging, but they are ripe with opportunity and personally, when I approach it from that vantage point, I can smile, breathe and be open to the hidden treasures that await me.

Most of all, seeing life from the viewpoint of my daughter, gives me a huge glimpse into a future, which according to famous poet and author, Kahlil Gibran, ‘our children represent a future place that we cannot visit, not even in our dreams.’

Thankfully years ago, I read his wisdom and it stuck with me.  Since discovering that my daughter is part of Generation Z, also referred to as iGen, Gen Tech, Gen Wii, and Net Gen, who are considered to be the first ‘Digital Natives’ on the planet, his comment makes even more sense than when I read it back then…

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”
Khalil Gibran

To my daughter, thank you with all my heart for teaching me how to be a stable bow and infinite gratitude for connecting me with the future.