Libraries are filled with books on parenting. Books that tell the readers what are the dos and don’ts for rearing a perfectly balanced kid that would turn out to be a great contributor to the society.
It doesn’t matter if you have an extrovert or an introvert, if he is shy or not, you will find receipts for making him like all the others. Or at least trying.
Not only this, but all the books are telling how you should behave not to create a permanent trauma to their little brains. But they fail to expose all the theories and all the pros and cons.
They also fail to explain that we are only humans and those theories are guidelines. So every time you don’t raise to the theory you will feel guilty and like you are the worst parent in the universe.
Raising a normal individual became a race with other parents and kids. This instead of being a time of reflection and improvement of your own self, a time of joy and connection with your child.
We say we do not encourage the competition anymore, but we do it. We compare our empathic child with the others who are not as emphatics as ours, we compare his climbing skills and we try to improve them just because the others do it better. But we don’t say it. Instead we wonder what are the other parents doing better.
I see this period of my life as an opportunity to improve myself too. I look at my kid and analyse what I would like her to become, based on her personality, interest and skills. I am talking about habits and behaviours, not future professions. And then I look at myself and check if I do all that, if I am a good example for her. Many times I realize I am not and that I would like to be. So I struggle to learn, educate and improve myself.
It’s not easy. I fail some times, but I keep trying. And I just hope that she will learn that “keep trying” is a way to improve yourself.
Instead of raising your child by the book, respect, love and understand him. Exactly how he is. Don’t try to make him somebody else, don’t try to make him someone that you would have loved to be. But teach him to love and respect himself.
And don’t forget you are only human and we all do mistakes. If you can’t forgive yourself, how could you forgive your child?
P.S. Verbal and physical abuse are not part of “we are only humans”. That is something that should never happen! If it ever happens, try hard not to repeat.