Letter to your parents
Help for young people to open a serious conversation.
We understand finding the right words to speak openly with your parents can be hard. They may seem not to care, or put too much pressure on you. Let your parents read this, if you recognize this. If what we talk about doesn’t fit your situation, consider writing your own letter. It can do so much to help the dialogue and understanding between you.
Do you feel your parents think certain things are fitting, but are not seeing what fits you? Then you may use the following letter to start a honest discussion going with them.
“Come on, we know you can do better. You’ll never get a good job behaving like this.” ~typical parent speak, often reflecting anxiety, rather than what the child really needs. And be honest, is this idea of a ‘good job’ good for the child or the world? Ever considered that meaning, purpose and feeling alive in life and work might be more important than salary, competition and a car? And we not even talking about working for the oil industry here, or their bankers.
When your child asks you to read this, you are either giving your child too little, or too much attention. We hope you don’t feel attacked by this notice. In fact we seek to be of help for parents and their child(ren) having better understanding of each other. Trust us, when your child lets you read this, it loves you and believes in your capability to be even better parents than you already are.
So your child experiences either too little attention or too much pressure. You may have fights or difficulty understanding each other. We understand, you may be either be too busy, or overly anxious*. You may be working your ass of for your child’s future, or fight the child so it won’t make the same mistakes you did. (It will and many other mistakes too.) You may be personally convinced your child can only become something proper when you back off/push as hard as you can*.
However when you aren’t open about your assumptions that determine such actions, your children may make all kinds of wrong assumptions themselves. They may think that you back of, not to offer freedom, but because of lack of love, or insecurity about what to do. When you push too hard, your child may come to believe it should become something you want, not necessarily what fits it’s his or her own image. It may think it should have the career you never had, like because it makes you look good. It may think you don’t know how to love, only how to work. We assume that’s not your intention. But that may be the effect.
So start exploring together what’s going on. Way too many children are depressed, worried about the future, or don’t think their school has meaning enough. Or they feel you are not helping them enough to become who they can be. When you discover you push too much or back off because of personal anxieties, know that your kid sees right trough them. It wants love, understanding and needs your maturity, read someone who cares enough to not let anxieties rule. So start communicating. Start dreaming, discussing, envisioning a future that works for everyone; a future in which your child’s role has meaning and importance, from cooking meals for the hungry to inventing new road designs for smaller totally clean vehicles.
If you don’t know how or what to do, start being more playful together. Laughter opens so many doors. It may feel tough now. You may hate this text. Trust me. When this text relieves you, you already know: It will be so worth it and fun too.
With all the kindness in the world, and loving your courage to offer and or accept in whatever role, parent and youth. We’re all learning.
Floris from Flourish Gaia
Chapter written for the “Spaceship Earth Crew Manual, Preparing for Uncertain Times.” (book to offer help to students, teachers parents)
*) Recognize what fits your situation best.
Flourish Gaia is an educational shift organization seeking to help everyone who worries about the climate and the world to become active within their situation. We feel that idealistic children should and can build whole careers upon that. Millions of jobs to help the transform the world towards clean, healthy and a thriving regenerated nature will be needed. For this parents needs to stop pressuring their children to ‘become the best’, whatever that is. Rather help your children find ways to express their true selves and let them explore how and where they feel they shine the most. We do not need more of the same, all having done the same education. New innovative minds are born by daring to be different, challenging conventions and explore alternatives beyond what we think is the norm. Our ‘norm’ has gone crazy and is destructive to life on our planet. Better support those wanting something different. They are the future. They want a future. We’re here to help.