I had my graduation from Uni this week. I got my Masters in International Relations, so my dedicated parents drove eight hours from their home in the country to come to my graduation. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but I was really surprised by what a great day it was. And I realized that even at 34 years of age, it still made me happy to know that my parents were proud of me.
As a parent, I couldn’t help imagining Birdy walking across the stage while the Professor mispronounces all her middle names. But then I had to remind myself that Birdy might not want to go to College or Uni, she might not want to study at all! She might want to be a bookseller or a tour guide or a pastry chef, so I have to let her choose her own path. And I also need to make sure she knows I’m proud of her, not just for what she achieves but also for who she is.
So I’ve been thinking about when I’ve been most proud of Birdy. I was really proud of her when she recited Where is the Green Sheep? word for word before her second birthday. But I was also really pleased the other day when she shared her last Easter Egg with her little friend at the park. I was impressed when she sang the alphabet song for the first time a few months ago, but I more touched after we waved goodbye to my parents on Wednesday. When I said I was feeling a bit sad, she picked me a flower and said ‘This is for you to make you feel happy again.’ And I thought: well it’s one thing to know your alphabet, but it’s so much more important to learn how to be kind and loving. So it was a good reminder that we need to let our kids know that we’re proud of them for who they are, as well as what they achieve.
When have you been most proud of your kids? It could be for something they’ve achieved or it might be a time they showed unexpected kindness, maturity or thoughtfulness. Whether they were nine months, nine years or nineteen, what have your kids done to make you proud?
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