I have a twelve-year-old daughter that’s already planning for her debut in the corporate world. She has a master plan and nothing’s going to stop her; not even my requests to take out the trash. She’s a straight A student, and the model classroom attendant. But as soon as she walks through that door it’s on! We are in constant tug-of-war mode to each get what we want. And I’m not just talking about listening, following the rules, etc. I’m talking personality traits, views, morals. I want her to see things the way I do. To care about others, to make a contribution. I know what you’re thinking. She’s just a child, right? Yes that’s true, but her desire and determination to get exactly what she wants without regard to those she’s trampled on along the way leaves me visualizing a future cut-throat, corporate attorney…or Courtney Love.
Then one day I was watching a biography piece on Angelina Jolie. It covered her early life experiences with men, drugs and pure rebellion. She suffered bouts of depression and began cutting herself. Then there were the tattoos and the controversial marriage to Billy Bob Thornton. Her life couldn’t have been further from the loving humanitarian mother that raised her. It was not until Jolie was almost 30 years old that she transformed into a devoted mother and philanthropist. She left behind the wild side and took her place in a family and as an advocate for those that couldn’t speak for themselves. About her mother she was recently quoted on CBS saying “I will never be as good a mother as she was. She was just grace incarnate. She was the most generous, loving – she's better than me.”
I have to believe that somewhere inside her that influence from her mother was always there, just waiting to surface. Everything we say and do, all of our actions and reactions are taken in by our children. It’s all in there and though it may take a while to show up, I’m confident when the time is right it will make an appearance. At least that’s what I’m banking on with my own children.
Guest blog by Lia Fairchild. Lia Fairchild is a writer and the author of the novel, In Search of Lucy, and the new mystery series, A Hint of Murder. Look for more on her at http://www.liafairchild.com/ or http://www.ahintofmurder.blogspot.com
YOUR TURN TO COMMENT: How old were you when you really listened to your parents' advice?