Want to pose a question for you..(philosophical)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Should we as parents feel a sense of pride or accomplishment in the raising of our easy child or successful children? Think of all those gymnasts or Olympians or even the football players who yell "Hi Mom" or "Hi Dad" to the camera's when on TV. Think of all the hours upon hours that went into the making of those successful adults. It wasnt just the kids who sacrificed, it was the parents too. Sure the kids had the goals and the drive to stick to those goals but it was Mom and Dad who drove them to practice, drove them to coaches, special teachers, doctor's, gyms, etc....year after year.

    I dont mean to just point out the one in a million kid. I also mean the normal kid that gets raised to adulthood as a normal person with normal trials and tribulations. They go to college or the military...or the get a job right out of HS. They do what they are supposed to do and become nice productive adults.

    Do we as parents get to look at them and sigh and say...job well done? It was worth it.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I think so. I am so very proud of the man pcson is. He is the way he is because of how he was raised---and the choices he has made. But he was able to make those choices because of how he was raised. I'm proudest most of him for working so hard to make his marriage work. Some of you may recall that his wife left him a few years ago and he made a concerted effort to make the marriage work. He was only 24 at the time, but wise beyond his years because he had seen me forgive his dad when his dad had made the wrong choices. At 24, most men would have run away. He chose to work on his issues, give her the opportunity to work on hers, and even changed jobs so that he could be closer to her so they could co-parent.

    I'm proud of some of the choices Jana has made, but she is still growing and making mistakes that effect her life which is understandable at 19. She is the strongest young woman I know.She is also the most stubborn which can be positive or negative.

    I am even proud of difficult child sometimes. And when I am, I let him know. He was taught right from wrong. He knows the difference. His values and morals are different from mine, and that bothers me some, and I have struggled to accept him as is....not always easy.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Absolutely! Just because they might have been easy child in their formative years doesn't mean the parenting was any less challenging.

    Of course, I'm no where near the finish line yet. But I most assuredly am already proud of my easy child and how she's coming along so far in her first decade of life. :)
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I don't know. I know my parents feel proud of the job they did raising 5 kids who are all doing well now. In their circle of friends, they are the only ones that don't have a struggling child. I'm sure my parents feel it was that they did such a good job but frankly, I think they were lucky that all of their kids were healthy, reasonably smart, and have most of the same values they do.

    I think feeling proud of your child is one thing but I'm not sure about feeling a sense of accomplishment.

    After I typed that, however, I realize that if my 2 kids end up as happy, healthy adults, despite their problems, I will certainly feel a sense of accomplishment.
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Yes, definitely. Not only should we take pride in our PCs, we should also take pride in our difficult children. How kids turn out is due to a variety of factors (genetics, home environment, outside influences, the kid's choices, and the luck of the draw) but those of us who have struggled and got our kids raised can definitely feel some pride. The ones who turned out well, we helped. The ones who turned out not so well, might have been a lot worse without loving concerned parents. I don't mean to say that we should think ourselves perfect that we got through it, but if we've done our best, and loved our kids through thick and thin, and tried to point them in the right directions, there is certainly nothing wrong with feeling a little pride in the job we did.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! I think we should rejoice in any positive accomplishment of all our children. I know I'll be cheering and screaming at Miss KT's high school graduation.
  7. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hey Janet,

    I also agree. We should take pride in the job we did for our kids. Even our difficult children, they might not always turn out the way we want them to but hey, we all did a darn good job surviving them!!! And think about how much worse they might be if they did not have us warrior parents who drove them to, therapy, hospitals, rtcs, doctors, filled their prescriptions.....and so forth!!!

    My daughter is on the run right this very minute but I am proud of the job I did as her mom. I will leave this earth with no guilt as I left no stone unturned, I did everything I possibly could for her. As, I'm sure all of you did for your difficult children. It takes a special kind of parent to raise a difficult child, we need to be persistent, have lots of patience, lots of empathy and a really big heart. Our kids aren't always the easiest to love but we managed to keep them in our hearts no matter what!!! That in it of itself is a major accomplishment.

    For you personally Janet, you should be proud of the job you did with all of your kids and grandkids!!! Look at Cory, he lives on his own!!!!! That is amazing!!!!!

    Proud mama here!!!! :)
  8. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Just wanted to add:

    Getting my daughter to the hospital or to take her medications is harder than it will ever be to get my easy child son to college!!! LOL

    When she swallows her medications or gets admitted, shoot, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment!!! That's no easy task!!! :)
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I guess I'll jump in here and be the oddball, and without diving too deep into it, I think it goes back to the "nature vs. nurture" argument.

    If we are proud of our pcs because of their success as adults and feel that is a reflection of us as parents of them, then I feel we also must feel shame in failing our difficult child's. So I don't subscribe to that camp so much.

    I think you should feel proud of your parenting ability regardless of easy child or difficult child status. Actually, to continue parenting a difficult child takes a lot more guts than parenting a easy child, so maybe you should actually feel more pride at having survived that, I don't really know. I just know that I look back at my two older boys - one a easy child and one a difficult child - and I am proud of who they are, and I feel a sense of satisfaction at having done the best I could. But I can only claim a little credit - difficult child 1 teetered on the edge for so very long (still is, really), and it was really a crapshoot that nothing came along that sent him spiraling over that edge.
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I take pride in the fact that I was the best parent I could have been to all my kids easy child or difficult child. Do I claim their success? No, but I do herald their accomplishments. There is nothing wrong with that! -RM
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I think so. Why? Because of exactly what you said, while the child worked hard and sacraficed ect, the parents also played a huge part in their success. Not always, I've know kids to "make it" as productive adults without the aide of their difficult child parents......myself for one. ;)

    But I also think the same thing applies to difficult children. While many difficult children may never make it to what we consider "normal", many do manage to acheive much more than was expected, and others even manages levels of stability docs thought weren't possible.

    I worked my arse off just as hard (harder actually) with the difficult children as I did easy child. And while neither Travis or Nichole has yet acheived easy child status......Travis went waaaaaaaay beyond the most optomistic prognosis given his various disabilities and dxes. Docs just look at him and shake their heads. And I just stand their and grin my all knowing grin because they've no clue of the effort and work that was involved in getting him so far. Same with Nichole. Yes. Bottom line was she had to want the help. But educating her on her diagnosis and treatment and medications, guiding her behavior, and even letting her fall on her face was MY job to help her acheive the level of stability and "normalcy" she now has. While she had to want the help and do the work, she still didn't reach stability alone, she had help. And even knowing she could relapse at any time.......I'll always be proud of her.

    She is who she is due to genetics, what she does with it and how she uses it, comes from parenting and outside help. Know what I mean??

    I probably didn't put that as well as I'd like.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Does this mean you don't WANT to come to the GED graduation? lol -

    Yup - peacock proud when I hear the word shoot instead of shat.

  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I am in the same camp as RM:

    I take pride in the fact that I was the best parent I could have been to all my kids easy child or difficult child. Do I claim their success? No, but I do herald their accomplishments. There is nothing wrong with that! -RM

    I think I was the best parent I could have been to both my daughters - what they did with it was up to them! I watched my easy child work very hard and make certain sacrifices and get a leg up with our support. And I'm proud of her. I celebrate all of her successes. And despite difficult child and her, er, gfgness, I also celebrate her successes and rally around her when she's making an effort.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well since several people have now answered this...I will pose part two of this question. By the way...nice answers.

    So if we are all taking our kudo's and props for things going right shouldnt we also take some responsibility when things go wrong?

    I am not saying that everything that is wrong with a child is the parents fault but neither is it only the child's problem. When someone in the family has an issue, the whole family has to adjust and learn to deal with that issue. We cant just say...ok...here is the kid...fix him. I wish it was that easy. When we find out we have a problem we need to learn new ways, we need to grow as people and parents. Kids dont come with instruction manuals so what works for one doesnt work for another. Finding help from other people can be crucial and shows that we arent shirking our responsibility but living up to it. Being responsible is being a good parent.

    I fully believe I play a part in how my kids are today...both good and bad. I know I did things that probably did damage. For those things I have made my apologies. I did somethings that I think were right. I know I fought hard for my kids. They know it too.
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Playing devil's advocate, I realize that as we tell parents all the time, it's not their fault that their difficult child's choices and behavior fall short of our expectations.

    I can not take credit for easy child's success any more than I take the blame for difficult child's failings.
    Both are the result of genetics, enviromental influences, teaching, learning on the part of easy child and difficult child, self direction and motivation. In some cases the very willfulness that we dislike in difficult child is just what is a positive in easy child's.

    Am I pleased when I see my son's do something uplifting? Darn right I am. Do I think I should take credit? No.
    I did my sacred duty to be the best parent I could be for my son's. I failed at times but I woke up every day trying again.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fran...sometimes it may be somewhat of our fault if our kids have problems. It can happen. Maybe it might not be any parent on here. Maybe people here are the anomaly and these parents are the really good ones but we all see in the news where there are bad parents. I know parents who have let their kids run amok while I was chasing Cory all over town. I was sending Cory off to group homes while one friend of his was dealing drugs out of his mom's house for his mother! This friend had a younger brother who was dxd ADHD and BiPolar (BP). Hmmmm. Wonder who's fault that was?
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Fran said...."I can not take credit for easy child's success any more than I take the blame for difficult child's failings. Both are the result of genetics, enviromental influences, teaching, learning on the part of easy child and difficult child, self direction and motivation. In some cases the very willfulness that we dislike in difficult child is just what is a positive in easy child's. "

    This makes much sense to me. I do think the parental role is a large part of the environmental influence. What percentage that role is, its hard to say.

    Of course, there are plenty of examples of people raised in horrible situations who when they became adults, overcame extraordinary difficult life circumstances and succeeded and are happy.

    AND there are plenty of examples of people raised in good homes, who when they become adults, behave very inappropriately and are unhappy.

    So, it seems there are many factors working together to create an individual...genetics, environment, personality, education, perhaps opportunity, personal motivation and self direction (many things already mentioned by Fran). How can we truly take responsibility for all of this?

    Surely, the parental role plays a part...but again...what percentage? To what extent? For how long? How much should we dwell on this? And if we dwell on this excessively, do we remove responsibility somehow from adult children to assume personal responsibility?

    Choice in this is key. It works all around.
    1. If you were not raised appropriately by your parents...you have a choice to let that go. To understand this and to know it wasn't right. However, you have a choice to move forward and to not perpetuate the sadness. To not dwell on it. To make a choice to live a healthy and good life.
    2. If your are behaving inappropriate manner with your child...you have a choice to stop immediately and get help for yourself. Make a decision to make good decisions and to educate yourself re: parenting.
    3. If your child is now an adult, you have a choice to make sincere apologies. You can make arrangements to receive help for yourself and some people, depending on the circumstances and their means...might be able to pay for therapy for their adult child. Sometimes an apology provides significant healing. The next choice is to treat their adult child with respect and to continue to move forward and to lead a healthy life. (Can't go back. Apologize. Move forward...do better). Now, encourage...anticipate...insist if necessary for your adult child to make good choices. Let them be an adult.
    4. Final choice: Not to beat yourself up over any of this. Berrating/self flagellation leads to unhealthy thoughts, which leads to unhealthy actions. This does no one any good. Set an example...even for your adult children...keep your thoughts clean/healhty...make that first and most important choice.

    I recall reading Gahill Gibran..."Your children are not your children..." This always gave me pause...perhaps they belong to a HIgher Power. We are all accountable for our choices...need to strive to make healthy ones...and I have found that healthier ones start with giving up self ridicule.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 9, 2009
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Nature vs Nurture can have you chasing your tail.:tongue:

    Janet, I do see mistakes I made with my kids along the way. A few that while never intentional, were pretty darn serious ones. Do I think they affected them.......yeah, I do. Good or bad? Well, dunno on that score.

    From birth to age 2 Travis went to a special neurology clinic at children's due to his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) at birth. This was twice a month. And everytime I was proud of some new thing he was able to do (sitting, standing) they would shoot it down by saying he'd not meet the next milestone. Since I was working myself to death with him at home, and being young and stupid, I got so sick of hearing what they thought he couldn't do......I stopped going.

    I found out 11 yrs down the road that if I'd gone just a little longer....Travis would've had his CP diagnosis at age 2, not 14.:faint: That diagnosis would've meant all sorts of early intervention and special programs he didn't receive because I didn't stick it out.

    I take responsiblity in Nichole's nosedive off the deep end a few years back, not all, but some.........because I didn't see it although it was staring me in the face. If I'd caught her downward spiral faster, perhaps it wouldn't have been so severe.

    There are others.......I'm by no means a perfect parent. But those two jump out at me with big neon signs. lol

    Do I think I'm to blame for much of Nichole's behavior? Aw h*ll no. I know better. Genetics played a enormous part in that. (poor kid) And I use her as an example because Travis simply can't help his issues.

    I think a kid is molded into the person they are by many different factors. Genetics plays a huge part. Parents and other role models play another big chunk. And then there is also outside influences that play their role too.

    I was able to move past my severely dysfunctional family and mega difficult child Mom due to both genetics and those outside influences. I didn't do it all by myself by any means. My sibs....well, they weren't so lucky and didn't fair very well.

    And I've seen my fair share of parents who at the very least "contribute" to their children's dxes simply by their own behavior. This could be due to lack of information, bad parenting skills, or them just not giving a darn. To say it's never the parent's fault in my opinion would be silly.

    Let's just say............I have 4 sibs. All have children. All those children are difficult child's of a level to rival any difficult child on this board. They are in prison, drug users, criminals, abusers......and yeah, now you know why I avoid the lot of them. As for my sibs as parents......ignorance is number one, lousy parenting skills, and while they did give a darn.......the first 2 seemed to override the last one.

    I don't even want to consider where the generation of my great neices and nephews are headed.:(

    So? What made me the odd ball out in my family? (and I am, believe me)

    I think it was because I'm a detailed oriented person. Even as a young child I noticed all the details in my enviornment. I knew that kids at school didn't live like I did. I saw that kids in the neighborhood didn't live like me. And I craved with a passion the "normalcy" that they took for granted.

    So how does a kid manage when their life is anything but normal? I took bits and pieces of info from everywhere. My aunt, my grandma, tv shows, teachers, magazines, books......I mean everywhere. Then once I was grown and on my own, I put all those pieces together into what I believed "normal" to be......and made sure to stick to it.

    And I realize that probably didn't come out quite right as it is really hard to put something like that into words. But let's just say my kids couldn't have lived a more boring "normal" life if someone had written the script.:tongue:

    Because of my passionate craving for "normal" I did everything in my power to make my adult life, and my kids lives, as radically different from my own childhood as possible. Know what I mean??

    And that part is very much genetic, the personality I was born with. Because none of my sibs got it, that's for sure.:ashamed:
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think this goes beyond Nature vs Nurture.

    We do the best we can for our kids. We want them to be the best they can be. Depending on life's circumstances, we can be set up for failure, or have every advantage to be successful.

    All we can do, is our best. If our children do well, of course we feel entitled to a sense of pride. However, we have to recognise that our children themselves have significant ownership in their success. So do other people in their world. As parents, we have some control over what supports we put in place, or what obstacles and hindrances. Generally our influence should be positive, because few parents will actively try to hinder their children.

    So if our children do well - feel pride but share the credit. If our children do not do well - think about how much worse it could have been, think about what you DID achieve - and share the credit for all of it. And any blame.

    We are entitled. So are any others who had input. We all can share in the joy of any success, and at the same time hope for better days when our chidlren are struggling.

  20. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Janet, there are exceptions. You asked for philosophical discussion.
    There are exceptional parents and there are horrid parents. I tend to believe most parents are smack in the middle. They try to do the best they know. I figure we fall into that group of parents trying our best.
    I know parents who are exceptional and their kids are the one's who are running amok. Horrid parents with easy child's. There doesn't seem to be a recipe.

    I really try hard to never hold myself up as a better parent. I'm not. I am persistent though. Maybe it's the not giving up that differentiates the parents here than those we see on the outside? don't know.