Do you ever wish that your mom was an alcoholic when she was pregnant with you? I do because then I’d have an excuse for some of my problems. If she at least did something to screw me up that’d be awesome because I could say something like “Yeah, I’m this way because my parents beat the stuffing out of me and patched me up with mercury to disinfect the wounds and asbestos bandages.” Instead, my parents were incredible. They were amazingly loving and supportive, which sucks because that means any of my shortcomings are solely on me. To be honest, I can’t help but entertain the idea that they didn’t get the return on their investment they deserved. For the amount of money and love they invested in me, I should be way further ahead than where I am… or should I? This problem essentially connects to the question of when are parents proud of their children? Even further, what do you have to do to be worthy of their pride? This dilemma connects to 3 main categories:
- Parents who are too easily proud: These parents are too quick to be overly excited about the menial things their kids do, which often leads to the kids being attentions hogs and/or lazy.
- Parents who never appear to be proud whether they are or not: These parents often leave their children desperate to find approval somewhere or to be so incredibly resentful of authority that they struggle to fit into the social norms.
- Parents who are proud, but nothing they do to share this is accepted by the child: Sometimes a child (grown up or not) who does not feel their parents’ pride is simply the result of them feeling they don’t deserve it, which means they brush off any attempts to share this.
Regardless of which category you fall into, we need to ask: What does it mean to be worthy of parents’ pride and how can I make my parents more proud of me? The reality is events like graduations, weddings, and ceremonies to celebrate big accomplishments don’t necessarily mean parents are more proud of their children, but it’s at these occasions when parents are more likely to try to express it. If you want to know how to make your parents proud of you ask yourself:
What does it take for me to be proud of my parents?
What makes you proud of your parents? I’m guessing it’s not how much money they have, how famous they are, or even their job. The odds are you’re proud of your parents when they’re good people. This means you will likely want to introduce your friends to them and you have no fear of them embarrassing you. You’ll likely want to share how hard working your parents are, maybe show off a skill they have, and ultimately what they’ve sacrificed in their love for you and each other. Quite often, children of all ages will brag about what their parents have endured and obstacles they’ve overcome.
How do you make your parents proud of you? For the exact same things: Be a good person who perseveres. Be someone your parents will want to introduce to others. Be someone who won’t embarrass them for how you act. It’s not very often you hear a parent brag, “My child finds fault in everything, which is so enlightening!” “My son is the biggest jerk in the world; what an accomplishment!” “My daughter screams obscenities at everyone when she’s driving. She doesn’t pick favourites; she’s mean to everyone!” Very simply, if you want your parents to be proud of you, be a happy person who loves people. People tend to be more proud of who you are as a person, how kind and loving you are, rather than what you own, do as a job, how smart you are, or what you look like. The latter may matter on some level, but they’re secondary to who you are as a person. If you ignore your parents or just not a nice person, you could be the top 10 richest people and any pride will be severely diminished.
This week may you realize how proud your parents are of you and how you can grow this for them.
Rev Chad David, www.ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people