“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. I have encountered this verse on more than one occasion. As I grew older, I started to understand the true meaning of it. In many ways, it has proven to be true. Respect your elders, treat others as you would want to be treated, and respect the janitor just as you would the CEO. These are all things I have carried with me into adulthood. They are also things that I don’t hesitate to pass along to the youth that I come across. But what happens when things we are taught aren’t what’s best for us? The only thing constant in life is change. There comes a time where we have to learn to let go of lessons taught to us as children that simply do not serve our best interest.
As a child I can remember my mom being the most giving, caring person I’ve ever known. She is still that way today and I am not just saying that because she is my mother. Time and time again she would sacrifice her own well-being for others. As a young adult I picked up this trait. People would inconvenience me in every way, and I would unselfishly give to others at my own expense. It took me way too long to realize not only was I enabling people who were taking advantage of me, but I was hurting myself in the process. After being frustrated one time too many, I decided that it was okay to create boundaries. It was more than ok it was necessary. I Iwatched my mother always put her family first regardless of how she felt. It was important for me to understand that this didn’t work for me and changing this damaging narrative did not make me a bad person. Just because something was taught to us by our parents doesn’t mean its right. Once we become adults we must separate things that nurtured us as children from things that harmed us, keep in mind the effect that these practices had on us and be careful not to pass this harmful rhetoric down to our children. We are all individuals who think feel and react differently. What’s good for someone else may not work for you and that is ok. It does not make you any less strong nor are you wrong for putting an end to certain things even if they were taught to you as a child. Other home taught ideas I have abandoned include being afraid to ask for help, taking on a “no days off” mindset and dealing with family members just because they are family. What are some things that were regular practices in your household as a child that you have decided aren’t for you? Sound off below!!!