Isn’t it just lovely when people compliment your children?
My friend saw my daughter last night in her place of work and commented on how friendly, confident and bubbly she was. What a delightful lovely girl, she said.
Well yes, I have to agree. She really is. And I will say right here and now, I adore her and worship the ground she walks on (and she knows it!).
In part, I have my parents to thank for how she has turned out. I analysed everything they did wrong and vowed not to be the same with my child. So instead of berating and belitting in public, as they did me, I was always supportive, encouraging, praising where due and not admonishing for the sake of it. I never allowed her to feel a failure, which I felt the whole time; rather, we would look at any situation that didn’t turn out as planned and work out what she could do differently next time to get the outcome she desired.
Surprise surprise, it worked.
I also never allowed her to be shy or clingy to me. As a rather tall child – she’s now 5ft 11″ – I encouraged her to embrace her height, never to apologise for it or feel negative about it. Rather she must be proud of her height, proud of who she is and not let others’ opinions have an effect because they have the problem, not her. She grew up understanding that whatever negativity anyone threw at her, it was always a reflection of how they felt about themselves and not directly her issue.
Fortunately, I home educated her and I say fortunately because that allowed us to focus on her aptitudes and abilities and not be forced to study subjects for which she had no interest or aptitude. When you are given that kind of freedom, and I do believe it’s freedom, to discover who you are and what you’re good at resulting more success than failure, you have a better foundation in life. It’s my belief that school seems to focus on failings rather that success in so many ways.
But I don’t believe I can take all the credit for who she is today. She has chosen to take on board all the life lessons I’ve imparted, to readily learn all the wisdom and knowledge I’ve shared to become the amazing young woman she is. If you saw us together you would say, as my friend did today, how very alike we are and it’s true; when we live together, you can almost see us blending to become one person!
I can tell you though, quite categorically, that she is very much her own person. Parenting is hard and sometimes you wonder if they will ever listen to you. But now I can quietly observe that yes, she took it all on board, she was listening to me and has built on that to become the independant confident woman I see.
And that, amongst so many other reasons that I just cannot articulate, is why I love her with every fibre of my being. If there is only one legacy from my life, she is it and it’s a pretty good legacy. I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling a failure (thanks parents!) but I know that I shine at parenting.