What Parents Expect From Children?
|Thank You Blogadda|
If you were to ask the question ‘What do you want from your children?’ to a parent, they would find it very tough to answer. Gone are those days when you heard parents expecting the son or daughter to be a doctor, engineer, and many other such professionals; these are the days when parents want their children to be all rounder. They have a list of things which they want their children to excel in. The stupid ‘me’ lived in the notion it was wrong for us to pressurize our children to take certain professional of parental choice. The parent species has left me behind and evolved far ahead of that phase.
We see the tension that the set of family goes through when children participate in competitions, write exams, or just play a game with their friends. There is less fun and more competitions nowadays.
All these parents look at me and gravely sympathize with my situation, where I am bringing up one special needs child, and according to them my son is not a great achiever either. What do you have to feel happy about your parenthood? they ask me often. Only if they knew!
I grew up being ambitious and wanting to win everything. May be that killer instinct for victory still lingers inside me. For me, second place always sucked very badly. But somewhere during my growing up years I realized winning isn’t everything, being happy and content is what counts finally in our life. Thank God, the realization did not happen too late, when I would have stolen and squandered away all of my children’s childhood.
Let me first tell out loud what my daughter has done to make me content with my motherhood. What has been her contribution to my life? She is a lovely, innocent child who has something very special about her. I don’t feel sad or depressed ever being around her. For her happiness and sadness are not only short lived, but also easily earned. I learn every day from her life, how unnecessary my worries are. When 16 years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, I did not have much in my life to look forward to. I was in a unhappy marriage, financial problems in family, my sister was going through last stages of cancer and don’t ask me what else, because the list would be unending. It would have been very easy for me to say, let cancer kill me and free me from all these turmoil. But my daughter, with her innocent smile motivated me to fight for my life. I wanted to live for her and be there for her. There was no way I was going to abandon my special needs child and surrender to cancer, leaving her behind to fight her battle with society all alone. There was mastectomy, chemotherapy and many other things that have saved my life, but one strong power behind my survival has been my daughter. Science may not accept that, but I know deep in heart what is the truth.
She changed me into something totally different from what I was prior to her birth. She gave me courage to stand up and fight for her rights; she inspired me to get myself into a better position so that I can be strong for her, to come out in open and talk.
I do talk a lot; most of the people who know me will acknowledge the fact. Most of us do take speech for granted and go on to say things which may hurt someone in the process. When I see my daughter struggle to convey her message to me, I realize the worth of our speech and how I should not misuse it. This is just a tip of an iceberg, I could name thousands of things my child has done which has made me a happy Maa.
Would I be happy if my daughter was just like any other child, not being my motivation for life and teaching me life lesson? Yes. I know it is tough being a special child and I would do much to make her talk, walk and live comfortably without the struggle. I wish she was normal child, whatever that ‘normal’ is. But, that is not my reason to be unhappy with her or my life as a parent. I know if she would talk, I would want her to excel in communication, brings home prizes from speech competitions and the list would go growing. If she walks, I will expect her to run, and when she runs, I will want her to run ahead of everyone. As a parent I would never be satisfied, unless I pulled down the limits and learned to be happy with what my child is now. There is nothing a child can do to make a parent happy, a parent has to learn acceptance and find happiness in the child.
Being good parents is not giving birth to a perfect child, but looking at the imperfect child perfectly.