The world is running forth while we are going back. We are trying to hold the thought of our old paradigm. We think it’s the best. We do not know what technology does to our brains. Or worse, to the brains of our children. They have been in this online world since they were born. And we are desperate. We don’t know what to do with the fact that they are spending a lot of time with their screens on. Online.
We try. We let it go. We are being patient thinking it’s the best we can do. We hide from the fear behind our patience.
Patience. A sign that we are waiting for something. That we have expectations. That we are expecting something to change. To get better.
And who can feel such tension and insecurity of ours better than our children? Their precarious behavior and wondering is a logical reflection of ours. They are just trying to give us back something that is not theirs. Those fears belong to us. And we are trying to get rid of them by so-called “letting go”.
We pass on our own responsibility to our children by taking theirs.
We are telling them that it’s completely their life and that it’s their business how they deal with it and at the same time we don’t mean it so seriously. Because they are our children. Of course we care about what happens to them.
We care about them.
And we think that we can solve it if we hide our fear. We do not share our fears and thoughts with them because we feel like we should not feel like it. We feel guilty for having them. And so we keep them to ourselves. And that creates confusion. Inside us. Inside our children. Suddenly, they can’t accept their own responsibility even though they are trying to. They can’t work with it in peace. By their own way. Because besides their self-responsibility, they have to care about ours as well.
Our forgotten self-responsibility. The one that ran away from us when we thought we were letting go. It got away with our fear. Our care. We gave this big heavy box full of our own fearness and uncertainty to our children, believing that we are letting go.
But here is the thing.
Things don’t get far when we do not really feel prepared to let them go. It is difficult to let go when you don’t feel like it. We let it go, but it did not get far. It stopped right in the hands of our children. They can feel the heaviness of it. The tension. And we act like it does not exist. But they know it does. Because they hold it. How can they hold their own self-responsibility, when they are having completely full hands of ours? Of our fears. Our stories. Our insecurities. Acts. Emotions. Us.
This all does not belong to them.
No wonder they get lost in it. That they don’t know. They run to the screens and the online world. To drugs and unhappy relationships.
And we watch them while we are full of fear. We sneak behind them. We chase them instead of going with them. Instead of walking next to each other, with open arms, fully aware of our own responsibility for our feelings and actions, for our fears and insecurities, our stories. Confident that our children are competent enough to be able to ask for help, to share themselves with us when they want to. When they need to.
Share our concerns with them with knowing they don’t belong to them. That they are ours. Just tell them about it. To be clear. To see each other. Laugh together. Cry. Just. Be. And sometimes maybe a little far away from each other. But still with that connection. Connection of trust and love. Openness.
We don’t need to give our children their own responsibility, we need to take ours. Then they will take care of themselves. Because they will have free hands. Heads. Hearts. Then they will have the space to do it. To breathe. To look around and see the world. See how colorful it is. How beautiful. Then they will no longer have the need to run away. From us. From themselves. Then they will be able to grow. To let go. Leave behind everything that no longer serves them. Give and take. Look from above. At themselves. At us. At the world. At their own stories. Be aware of them. Be aware of making their own fairy tales and create them in their own way.
Don’t try to be patient.
Don’t feel like you have to let everything go.
Let go of what wants to leave.
What is not.
It is funny.
How easy can such a difficult task.
Valerie Dobešová (18) is a student at Donum Felix, a democratic school in Czech Republic. Valerie is visiting democratic school De Ruimte in Soest (Netherlands) as an exchange student, for three months. She loves writing and poetry, and wrote this article after an inspiring conversation about gaming and social media.