Hey there folks!
Today I want to start out and thank all of the people that read through my writing. I am going through a big change in my life right now and giving myself over to my writing. The feedback through comments or even just page views is a key component by which I go through this transformation and become a writer. With every passing day and every post I make to this blog I grow more comfortable in my new skin so to speak and knowing that I have an audience no matter the size is amazing, so thank you.
Now, today I want to rant a little bit about something that has been on my mind recently, and that is negativity as it pertains to the parent child relationship. I freely admit that I do not have a child, and because of that I am normally reluctant to share my opinions on how to interact with children. However, personal belief compels me to share my thoughts today and let the chips fall where they may.
The type of negativity I would like to discuss today is what some refer to as managing expectations, in other words you are bracing someone to fail. In general, I find this behavior intolerable in anyone, but in terms of parents speaking to children I find it absolutely unconscionable. I understand that the desire to do this in most cases comes from a caring place but it is misguided and foolish at best. In my experience all this type of advise ever does is cause people to give up, and it by no means increases confidence which is a necessary component of success.
This is why I abhor this behavior in parents. You are effectively trying to spare your child hurt feelings by undermining their belief in themselves. What is worse, one failure or a lifetime of thinking you cannot succeed? When you are grown you may find the strength to succeed despite what your parents say; however, when you are ten years old and mom or dad undermines your confidence by preparing you to fail that is monumental.
I am many things, quiet, reserved, socially awkward, but one thing I have never lacked was confidence. For as long as I can remember I have never questioned my ability to succeed when I put myself into the task, and I have my parents to thank for that. I have always known that my parents believed in me, they believed that I could achieve anything I put my mind towards. As I have gotten older I have come to realize that the confidence that comes so naturally to me is a rare gift. Not everyone had someone in their life that instilled that self worth in them, or even worse they had a person in their life that convinced them that they could not succeed so they may as well settle for less.
Admittedly, no one would look at my life and call me successful, not even myself. However, I have come to learn a few things about people who succeed; primarily, they never gave up. Not to over simplify, because it is no easy task, but the truth of the matter is that the only ones who succeed at anything are the ones who try. Therefore, giving up is simply not an option.
As a parent why would you want your child not to succeed? Is not the point of parenting to want more for your child than you ever had? I know you do not want to see your baby hurting, and failure certainly hurts. Even the greatest among us fail from time to time, so the hurt of failure is unavoidable. What I do know is that your child will know far more happy days if they believe in themselves, and if you do not believe in them it will be much more difficult for them to find that confidence.
Failure is a lesson we must all learn and it can only be truly learned in the moment. Preparation for failure only breeds fear and anxiety, which are not pleasant companions as they tend to affect everything in our lives. When you teach your child to believe in who they are, and that they not only can succeed, but deserve to succeed they will find it easier to summon the strength to stand back up when the world knocks them down. Instead of trying to be the shield that protects your child from the pain of the world, turn yourself into the pillars they can stand on so it is easier for them to keep their footing.