My Child is NOT My Trophy!!!

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I came from a generation where my mom still keeps taunting me for not getting good marks in my 10th and letting her down. I convince myself, may be it has got something to do with that generation. But to this day nothing changed our attitudes, our beliefs, how we are influenced by our society, peer pressure and all.

Never Compare Your Child:

It all starts with the first day of the birth. As the child grows so does our expectations. All the happiness about having a healthy child seems to fade away with time. As we focus more on ” oh, she’ s not fair, her hair is so thin, look at that, may be his nose is big…!! You will hear one thing or the other about our kids, if not from others, then from you, yourself or from our own family members.

From comparing about their looks to their milestones, and then about their performance at school, then exams, extracurricular activities, careers, marriage… the list seems to be never ending. ..  and we don’t seem to be exhausted too.

Who doesn’t want a child who is perfect that they can show to the world as a trophy. To compensate for all the failures we had in our life. But let’s question us, is any of this right ?? Should we re-live our life in them? Should we train them to do all that we missed, or we wished we had done in our own life?

Often people question us aren’t we successful? we have been compared all our life, but it worked for us. I want to ask them, you may be successful but are you really happy, or is your happiness subjugated by a mere relief of anxiety? We do many things just to make our parents proud, we work day in and day out, away from our families, we miss their first walk, first talk, we are sacrificing the most precious moments which we need to cherish for what? for ourselves or for others? Where is our own identity in this? ..? And when you look back we only see what we miss.. . is it really worth all this ?? And really are you happy with all this going on in your life? Either we are in denial or we just don’t know what happiness is, or our definitions of happiness are entirely different.

And when we are not happy ourselves, we make unhappy kids who are as confused as we are, who passively do whatever we tell them. They seem to look like the most compliant kids, but I often wonder whether they are kids or adults. I understand that under the pressure of giving them a good childhood. We often want our kids to live up to those expectations. But we shouldn’t forget they are individuals themselves. They shouldn’t be carrying the burden of pleasing us the whole time.

Let the child to run on their own race:

We should let them run their own race and only encourage them to finish the race no matter how long it is without giving up. We shouldn’t tell them how to run or how fast they should be running. That’s what gives them the strength to stand up on their own. When we do that, not only do they excel but they just stand out from the crowd. We may be apprehensive about the outcome because we believe if it didn’t work for us, it might not work for them either. We should just let go of our anxieties and start looking at it from their point of view. Trust them, encourage them and they will show you who they are.

We have such dichotomy that at one point we don’t want them to have our lives but on the other hand, make them have a life which we think is best for them or which we wished we had in our own life. We don’t really let them go.

Stop thinking that he is going to become a businessman like his dad or she is going to be a doctor like her mom as soon as they are born. In the process of making them successful, we should make their journey as exciting as it can be. But not a painful memory or filled with the burden of living up to a society or a family or peer pressure.

All kids are different, only 10% of them are extremely intelligent, most of the others are average or above average. Let them go at their own pace. Don’t rush them into anything because you are competing internally with yourself or the society trying to show them you are a good parent. The best certificate of a good parent doesn’t come from the society, it comes from your own child. It is in the little hugs they give you, the blind trust they have in you, in their little talks with you. When they are not worried about you judging them or when they face the harsh world with the confidence that they know you have their back whenever they needed you!!

Remember there is never a bad child, there is only a bad parent. A bad parent is not the one who is wrong. They are the ones who fail to acknowledge why they are wrong…!!

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