A vacation on a campground and how realities can be completely different

by | Oct 22, 2017 | Family life, Personal growth

The past two weeks I have been on a campground with my children. We were in a tent, enjoying the warmth of a beautiful autumn.
Since the campground was one of only a few which were open during this fall season, my sister was there with her family during almost the same period of time. She stayed in a bungalow with her husband and her three kids.
I sent some holiday pictures to my other sisters and to my mom. My pictures looked like this:

campground
Soon after that, my Sister who was at the same campground talked to mom on the phone.
She told her how it was sunny, but kind of chilly and too cold to take swim outside, like it is in autumn and also, that there would be   so many mosquitos she could not even eat outside in the evenings.
Now, my mom was really confused, wondering, which version of the story was right: Us sleeping in a tent, eating outside in the evenings, playing in swim suits on the beach swimming in the sea and the pool… or her version, the weather being sunny but chilly, too cold to take a bath outside and too many mosquitos to be outside in the evenings.
To end the suspense, we sent them this picture to explain the situation:
campground

The same day, the same beach, our children playing together in the sand… hers clothed like it was chilly, mine like it was pleasantly warm.

Both versions of the story were right. We didn’t lie, or pretend something that was not. In our individual reality, we were completely real in the experience of our vacations. There was quite a difference even though we are sisters. She grew up with me. She has the same background, same parents – she even has the same education as a small children educator as I do.
As amusing as it was to see the difference of our perceptions of reality, it made me think about life.
How often do we see the world the way we are instead of the way it is!
These varying perceptions can occur by different cultures, different upbringing… but even in the same family we can find these differences.


So how should we handle these differences? What kind of differences will you allow in your own family? What reality are you holding on to? What is your ultimate truth?

 

Growing up from this rebellious teenager I used to be, to whom I am today I am very well acquainted with the feeling of being different – and with not being celebrated for it. I often felt misunderstood and labeled down by the simple reason of who I am.
It took me years to get free from these labels, to shake off the shame of being myself and to – step by step – enter into my own uniqueness.
Today I am eager to spare my children that long way. I want them to mature into their own uniqueness, guide them to find their destiny, to do and be in life what they really were made for to do and to be.

So how can we become what we truly are, how can we give our children the freedom to live it?

 

My experience to this question is simple, yet profound: 
In knowing the one who made us.
God is the one that knows us, made us, loves us. And he is the ultimate truth. The word of God tells us what’s right and wrong, who God is, what he thinks about us.
This makes us relaxed parents when it comes to the uniqueness of our children. We celebrate their differences, we love to see their uniqueness. We are eager to know who God made them to be, what his purpose for their life is.
Differences are not scary or threatening anymore, but they make our kids even more lovable, interesting and special.
Understanding this, your aim will be to get to know your child, from the moment it enters into existence. Knowing this enables you to be that unique parent, leading your child into its destiny.
Having this in mind, many challenging differences everyone experiences in family life vanish.
Like this situation in our vacation a few days back:
campground

Like I already said, we slept in a tent and the temperature went down to between 12-16°C (53-61°F) during the night. I dressed myself warmly and was never feeling too hot. Of course I wanted to dress my children the same way, in order that they wouldn’t get a cold.
But one of my kids refused. He told me: Mom, I will be sweating if I put all these clothes on! Knowing that indeed he does not get cold easily, I agreed to let him dress more lightly. In the mornings (or when I woke up in the middle of the night when I checked if all my kids were well covered) he was never cold.

So what was the reality about that situation? Well…That the temperature outside was between 12-16 degrees (53-61°F).

That’s it.
I guess, you’ll be able to recall plenty of similar situations in your own life where the reality of your child was different from yours.

The beautiful thing is – there is no reason to make them feel about things the same way you do! It rather is our task to understand how they feel about it, and to teach them to move in their awareness of life in order to become these unique, successful adults they are designed to be.

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