As parents, we are very good at cheer leading our children – in sports, in school and at important milestones of the child’s life. Parents invest time, energy and resources in their child, and so it is natural for them to have expectations of a cherished outcome. It is common for parents to have innate assumptions, ambitions, hopes, even dreams about how their child will turn out when they grow up.
It is easy to love when the child meets the expectations of the parent. But what happens when the child make mistakes or poor choices that cause deep disappointment to the parents. I saw a program the other day where an adult daughter said how much she appreciated her parents because they loved her even on her worst days when she made some poor choices in the past. Of course, things have turned around for her, and the healing in her life came about because she felt very much loved by her parents despite the bad choices she had made.
Here’s what I have learned (and still learning) from experience and readings on some parenting articles.
1) Loving a child means wanting what’s best for them long-term.
2) Believe in your child to the last days of their lives
3) We may need to adjust our expectations. When parents are able to adjust their
expectations to fit the individual path and lifestyle that the child has independently chosen, it will affirm their relationship.
4) Seek expert and professional help if you are facing difficult challenges that you
cannot cope with.
Read How a Former Troubled Teen Turned His Life Around: The James Lehman Story
and other articles from our Parenting page