Why does it make us so proud that our children struggle to be adults

A dad

Active Member
I had a nice time at my youngest son home for christmas and I am so proud to see him struggle so much to be independent.
I should be more proud of my oldest for doing everything right but I am more so about my youngest who had problems.
Do you also feel more pride towards former Difficult Child then your non Difficult Child?

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I think it's in the struggle that we find strength. While we can be proud of a child who effortlessly gets straight A's we can tend to put more emphasis on the child who has to study extra hard to get those A's. I think this is a very natural response.


If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
Wow good question. For me it's not so much pride in Difficult Child progress but more about the stress level that goes down in having to worry about where he is living, helping him how to find solutions for his problems he encounters. He was homeless for years and now that he has safe place to live with a payee for his SSDI, it took so much stress off me and him.


Well-Known Member
None of my kids soared easily to victory but they are all successful. I am bursting with pride over their refusal to quit or to be victims. From learning disabilities to autism each one has never used anything as an excuse to stop trying. They do not pity themselves.

They are my heroes.


Well-Known Member
I was watching an old interview with Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher today. Debbie Reynolds was talking about how proud she is of her daughter for being such a fighter; how it would have been so much easier to just keep taking drugs or to let her mental illness take over her life, but she fought her way through it.

So I do think there is something to celebrate when our child struggles and overcomes. Maybe even cause for celebration if we get to stop worrying a little bit!


Well-Known Member
A dad,
I’m very glad you went to visit with your son over the holidays. It sounds like a very beneficial time that meant a lot to both of you, no doubt. From your post, it sounds like your son is maturing and growing in his confidence and independence. Of course you are very thankful and proud. I'm sure your son is also feeling better about himself and his situation, and was proud to have you come to visit him so you could see for yourself. You did a good thing by going to show your love and support for your son at this time.

In pondering your question of how you feel more pride towards former Difficult Child then your non-difficult Child? I agree with all the others above, who shared such wise comments.

I don’t know what is your faith or your holy book. In the Bible, there are parable stories that tell of great rejoicing when the “lost sheep is found”, when “the prodigal son returns home” and a feast is prepared to celebrate, when the “sinner is saved”, etc. These are similar scenarios of feeling a special joy in the kind of situation you describe.

While we are of course always very thankful for the successful lives of our “Easy” children, and really no less proud of them, the glad (“proud”) feelings on seeing the redemption, success or recovery of a difficult child is more a cause for the “celebratory” joyful feelings, as it is the realization of our hopes and dreams and prayers, maintained through seemingly endless (underlying) suffering of our own for them.

It is also a because we love them so much and desire their happiness and success. We love all (both easy and difficult children). But with the difficult child, when we see the glimpse of deliverance or, even better, an evidence of their continued trend toward responsible independence and motivated attitude, it is most definitely something proud to grab hold of, to bring ourselves some relief and peace ~ to have the thankfulness both for the newfound growth and smiles of our difficult child, as well as for ourselves in feeling the joy that a “former” difficult child is now on a good path. I think that is why is seems like we feel more proud in the difficult child’s situation.

In the Bible’s story of the prodigal son, the “good” son at home expressed a jealously that the father was greatly overjoyed at the difficult son’s repentance, and prepared a feast to celebrate the difficult son’s return. And the father replied to the good child … “My son ... you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” (This is how we naturally feel about our easy children ~).

Then the father continues … “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was …. lost and is now found.” (I think this is why we are so proud, why you, A dad, are so glad and thankful about your son.)

I am happy for you and for your son, and for your family, as you begin the new year with this gladness about your son.
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