Our children aren’t direct reflections of our ability to parent, but they are reflections of our ability to let them be themselves and to be happy.
It’s important to consider that when we push our children and mold them into what we think they should be, they CAN become precisely are a reflection of whom we are. This isn’t always a good thing. Children need guidance and direction, up to a point, but they also need acceptance and freedom.
When we place unrealistic expectations on our children, or vicariously live through them, this can be dangerous. When pushing kids to realize the goals we wished we had met: they are a more of reflection of our own insecurities and inability to accept our mistakes, and our own past than of our ability to parent.
Of course we all want kind, intelligent, and thoughtful children whom succeed in life. But their definition of success might be very different from ours. Many times I see kids pushed into sports they don’t enjoy, or in rigorous academic classes that they struggle through. Their successes or failures are not a direct reflection of us at all. Failure is a part of life, and without mistakes we never learn.
Our children are not a set of grades, or a trophy, they are unique little beings with their own sets of talents, likes and dislikes. A happy child is a reflection of good parenting. A child that succeeds in things that make them happy, following the path they choose with our gentle guidance is a true achievement.