I wrote this post a while ago, but think it is very relevant to Baby Week. One thing that does bother me about parents (and I know A LOT of parents) is when they have too many expectations for their child and they are quick to label them. Do not rush your children into growing up, do not push them into anything, there is just no reason to do it. Be sure to love and appreciate the beautiful child that you have and get to know them. They will blossom and learn to fly all on their own. Enjoy!
Why Did You Have A Child?
Written by Renee Arbia
This post was first published on MomsMagazine.com
Why did you decide to have a child? Was it to help in your family? Perhaps a family farm, or do you already have lots of children? Perhaps one more is not a big deal; in fact they can end up helping you out.
Did you have a child to better your situation? Did you think your child would marry a rich man or girl and be happy for the rest of their life and perhaps help you out in the process?
Did you have a child to make sure someone is there to hold your hand as you age? To be there for you when you need help? How about because you wanted to impart your legacy on the world before you leave it?
You would not be wrong if you wanted a child for these reasons. For thousands of years these have been reasons to have children. In older days you had children to help run the family farm/house or if you were lucky castle. A child was intended to take care of their parents their entire life.
Now, we have a choice, with the modern use of birth control and our knowledge of life in general. We can choose to have a child to purely experience unconditional love, to see the world through the eyes of a child, and to leave someone precious that will make a difference for our world in the future.
You have your precious, angel child. Who you admit has their faults, but is the best child around. Your child is by far the smartest, funniest, sweetest, most well behaved, best eater, best sleeper and cutest child.
As you buy clothing for your child I’m sure you would be hard pressed to never walk into a store or even look online and see shirts for your child about their future. Shirts such as; “Future Doctor”, “Future MVP Football Star”, “Star Ballerina”, and even “Ivy Leagues here I come”. You buy one, thinking it is cute. Your child looks adorable in it. When they wear it they are called “the little doctor”, “the slugger”, etc. When they are old enough, you enroll them in a class and buy toys reflecting that interest. Then, one day while fighting with your child to practice, study, get their stuff for practice, pay attention in class they tell you “I hate…” you shrug it off, they are under a lot of pressure. Surely, this is their dream and favorite interest. Or is it? How did it start? Did they ultimately pick it or did you? Did you drag them or did they race ahead of you?
Stop making your children something they may never want to be. You can buy just one shirt, or just one toy, or just one class. That is okay. What is not okay is constantly giving them everything to do with that interest, assuming they have no others. What is not okay is pushing and dragging them to study for examines, or practice on that instrument, or practice that sport. Chances are if you have to push them, they do not want to do it, and pushing them will only make them rebel even more.
What if they are good at it? So what? If they love it and it is a passion of theirs, they will pursue it. You will not have to tell them to practice or study. By pushing your child into a future they never even picked out. You are teaching your child to settle. You are teaching your child to settle for a less than perfect job, settle for a spouse they may not love, settle for a life they think is okay or even nice, but are afraid that in a few wrong steps it could be all gone in a second and they would be left with nothing. They think they have nothing because all they know how to do is that one thing they have been expected from birth to pursue. A parent always wants to feel needed and loved; a child always wants to feel loved and to make their parents proud. Do we really want our children to settle? They will if you push them without letting them find their own way.
Now imagine that throughout your child’s life you let them try anything they wanted. I do mean within reason. If you can only afford one activity, let your child pick one from two. Get them all different types of toys for all different levels of interest. Encourage them to try new things. Encourage them trying out for a play, or joining a club at school, or trying out for a team. The more your child learns and experiences, the more skills they will find they are good at, and may even excel. Imagine all the possibilities for your child. Perhaps they are great at music, great at art, so smart in English and vocabulary, and can make a goal like it’s nobody’s business. What if they could do all that? Most children can if given the opportunity. Most children have multiple talents.
In a constantly changing world many different talents is what makes a well rounded and happy child. That happy child turns into the adult with multiple avenues to explore, multiple paths to go down and multiple opportunities, opportunities that even you could never even dream of, because they are in a world you do not know, the future.
Too many parents are planning futures for their children before they even start school. They are already making sure they are learning what they need to get a good job.
Or perhaps you are the opposite parent. You just assume your child is not very good at school, or misbehaves all the time, or is very scatter brained, they will never make it to college. How about instead of focusing on the future, you focus on the present? Whatever your child is now, is not necessarily how they will always be, people change especially children as they grow. Focus on giving your child options in the present, different opportunities they may enjoy. Perhaps instead of purchasing the entire doctor, football or musical items why not get one of each or let your child pick one out.
There are many aspects to human beings, JOB is not one of them, nor should it be for your child. Teach your children to be who they are and to always follow their passions whatever they may be. Imagine giving your child a life they love with a passion that makes them happy everyday of their life, and they are a better adult because of all the possibilities you made available to them. Your child just might live a life that you could never even imagine.
Renee Arbia is the owner and writer of the blog, Next Generation Stay At Home Mom. Renee enjoys writing for many different websites as well as fiction for children and adults. She enjoys spending time with her family and on the beach.