Parenting is an exercies in powerlessness

Ultimately, I do not have the ability to change my children. They are humans with the same free will that I have, and the same level of uniqueness that I have. So often I want them to be like me. To do like I would do, to react and respond like I would react and respond, well, most of the time. But they don’t. They live in their world and have their own unique way of dealing with life. Often times, this makes me angry.
Just this morning my 7 year old decided that he wanted the blue plate for breakfast, and despite his younger brother protests, he took the plate for his own ignoring the fact that his younger brother had already put pancakes on the blue plate for himself. I was dumbfounded. Why on God’s green earth did my oldest think that he could just take what he wants? In this moment, not to be said for every moment, I chose to calmly intervene. We worked it out, but ultimately I was really angry that my kids would be so creul to each other. And I realized: I am powerless to change my children. I can teach them, show them, and engage with them as their dad, but how they choose to deal with me, or anyone else for that matter, is ultimately up to them.
As parents, we only have to be responsible for our behaviors and how we interact with our kids. Sure, legally we are responsible for what our kids do, but even in that we cannot control them. They will choose to do as they please, often times just to show us this is true. Successful parenting really only requires me to be the adult in the situation. Let the kids be the kids, and you focus on being the adult in the situation.

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