Children - A Reflection Of Our Own Self
That part of me
There are some days when I wish my son was not like me. I mean I just hope that he is pretty much all of those things that I never was. In fact, it is a paradox of sorts, where I often can see a part of me peeping out from him, at the same time, parts of someone that I do not understand.
Well, it is biological to have your DNA match with your child’s, however, it is more than mere science to see your child behaving, reacting and feeling like you too. It is almost as if I can watch myself, outside of me and reliving those moments in flashback all over again. Only this time, my son is essentially me.
The not so obvious connection
Let me explain. I was a shy, introverted kid. I was sensitive, would have tears rolling down my cheeks if anyone raised their voices and was always uncomfortable being alone anywhere. The way my heart beat when I had to answer a question in class or the way my stomach churned on leaving my mom to go to school, are emotions that I can feel with crystal clarity even today. But when I see these same emotions whirling through my son, I feel much more than nostalgia. I feel a sense of urgency, a conflicting sense of protecting him yet hurling him out onto the open field called life. And this is when I hope that my son is not like me.
How do we deal with our children when they show off behavior that is so much like our very own? How can we be safeguards of their upbringing when we ourselves are struggling with being what we teach them to be?
And so, I find it hypocritical to encourage him to go on stage and recite a story, knowing fully well that it would be the last thing I would have done if I were in his place. I put on a brave face in public asking him to move away from me and walk up and say hello to new friends when all I really want to do is not leave him alone and lost.
The problem of understanding
Usually, parents have a problem understanding their child’s personality and needs, which lead to conflicting emotions. However, in some cases, it is pretty much the exact opposite. I can totally understand how he feels and why he behaves in certain ways, because I can relate to these with personal experiences. And this poses a different kind of challenge, since on one hand though I understand his reactions, on the other; I cannot just let it pass.
And though I am not perfect as a person, I do have to strive to ensure a holistic development in my child. I have to expose him to the different choices, the umpteen possibilities, and then let him decide what he is most comfortable with. I have to pose a challenge, an area of discomfort in front of him to let him learn how to deal with it and find a way out. And I have to do all of this, with honesty, integrity and grit.
I guess I find it obligatory to let him be a better version of me. I want him to be confident, in control of his thoughts and words. I want him to walk in anywhere, anytime and be comfortable in his surroundings, or make friends easily and for long. Most importantly, I guess I just want him to be happy with who he turns out to be. To not have that squelching, squeezing feeling about anything. Yes, I want all of this for him; however, I am not very sure if I am in full control of who he ultimately becomes.
Meant to be…
We are all who we are and meant to be. Aside from this sweeping statement, there is nothing much I can do is there? Yes, of course, I will try and explain to my child to unbridle his fears and silently hope that he has more gumption than me to do so. I will work things out, such as, arranging for extracurricular activities, presenting more opportunities etc. to help him overcome his innermost terrors, however, there will be only that much that I will be able to do. In the end, it will be him alone and he will have to learn to live his life in the best way he can.
As an after-thought, going back to him being so much and more than me, well let’s just say that the parts of him that I do not understand, I find most relishing and refreshing. There are ways in which he can sometimes react, the way he can sometimes reply, the way he is at times brimming with confidence and the way in which most of the times=[ he is independent and clever, that I know that my son is a whole fine person by himself. And even if he has a bit of me somewhere about him, he has a lot more of himself that will make him who he becomes.
In a nutshell
- As parents, we too have to understand our limits. Yet at the same time, let our children take the limitless flight by acting the wind beneath their wings.
- Of course, there are parts of them we understand and many we don’t. We really don’t have to, as long as we know they understand it themselves.
- Accepting and loving them without any expectations or hoping for them to fit in a mold is the one of the kindest things we can do.
- Guide them to be a better version of themselves, but let’s not target them for becoming a better version of ourselves.
Tasneem Sariya is a freelance blogger and a stay-at-home mother. She holds a degree in Geography and is an ex-Google employee. She enjoys traveling, reading and writing.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.