My grandfather came to Australia when he was 14 years old. He grew up in Cyprus during the war and his parents and his family (eleven brothers and sisters) were eating locusts and desert berries in order to stay alive. So my grandfather was put on a boat, leaving behind his family, he travelled to Australia to start a new life for himself. Talk about growing up quickly!
When my grandfather came to Australia there were lots of ‘Greek things’ he wanted to bring with him. He brought with him his culture, he brought with him his love for family and he brought with him a desire to make his family proud. He also brought with him his Greek recipes and his love for gardening. There were also things he had in Greece that he wanted to leave behind. He wanted to leave behind poverty. He wanted to leave behind sickness and early death of family members. He wanted to leave behind the heartache of war.
When our children grow, there will be things that they will want to take with them into adulthood, and there will be things that they will want to leave behind. We all have things we have experienced in our childhood that we don’t want to bring into our adult lives. This is a normal part of growing up.
Good parents aren’t perfect, and they can’t give their children a perfect childhood. They make and admit mistakes. They admit that there are things in their lives that their children would be better leaving behind, and they support them as they do this. They hope that their children are going to build on what they have given them. After all every generation has something they need to conquer for themselves. You aren’t a bad parent if you can’t give your children perfection.
THANK YOU to everyone who has been passing these blog posts on, and for all your kind emails about their impact on your family. If you have a topic you would like me to blog about email me at email@example.com and I will respond to it as soon as I can.
If you would like to book me to speak at your school or community event email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOST IMPORTANTLY if your teenager needs support from a psychologist, counsellor or mentor Youth Excel would love to help. You can contact me at email@example.com.
What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents is available at www.michellemitchell.org for $24.95 plus postage.