I stated that we adults need to live our lives, and that it's unhealthy for us to hang our aspirations on our children's accomplishments. Then, I added that it's natural, though, to some extent, to feel that their successes are our own. We can't help it. That's where our pride comes from. We feel as though we had a hand in their success in some way: "That's my kid! I helped make this happen."
But, another parent at the party kind of looked at me cross-eyed. "No, I think that living vicariously through our children really isn't healthy."
"But, don't you feel pride when your child meets this goal, or accomplishes that mark?"
She stopped and thought for awhile and declared that the positive feeling she has when her child succeeds is pure happiness for her child. That's it.
What do you think? When your child succeeds are you merely happy for them, or do you feel pride because you raised this child? And, is it healthy to feel this way?
My feeling is that if I bake a cake and everyone tells me it is delicious, I feel proud of that cake, because I am the one who helped make it what it is. I'm not just happy for the cake for tasting good. I think that's healthy (the feeling, not the cake). But, if I lived the rest of my life replaying the compliments I got for this cake, that would not be so healthy.
We raise our kids the best we can. When they succeed, we feel we did something right. We are proud that they have worked hard and followed our example/advice. Yet, we also need to have our own aspirations separate from our children, so that we can have a healthy balance.
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