One of my very favorite lines about being a parent comes from Andrew Solomon’s Far From The Tree: “Perhaps the immutable error of parenthood is that we give our children what we wanted, whether they want it or not.”
Carl Jung said that nothing had a bigger influence on the child than the unlived life of the parent. Those unlived lives linger. (I am struck often by how many artists are raised by people who didn’t fulfill their own artistic ambitions. Most recently, Twyla Tharp, in Twlya Moves, talking about her mother, who was a pianist, and groomed her daughter for a life in the arts, driving her all over Indiana for lessons, etc.)
One must be careful to not transfer unwanted dreams onto their children, maybe even more so when your children are inclined to doing the things you, too, love. (One of my sons loves music and video games, the other loves stories and drawing. You can imagine the dreams I have for them, dreams that I find it best to keep to myself.)
It’s a dance. You have to give yourself what you needed, but give your kids what they need now. Build the world you always wanted, but make sure there’s room in it for the world they want, too.
(And know it will change and be constantly in flux, day by day.)