Intelligent. Unfriendly. Happy. Smart. Loner. Cute. Too mature. Angry. Kind. Loving.
I have heard all these adjectives from people while they are trying to describe my children, my twin girls who are one year old. As a mother, I have experienced the entire spectrum of emotions in the past one year when I have been on the receiving end of such an analysis of my twin girls. From feeling exuberant to being extremely shocked and not know how to react, I have been at every possible emotional junction where I have wondered how people are so quick to judge children.
We all are familiar with those well-defined, strictly bordered ideas of how I person should be; those tiny stifling boxes where every single identity needs to fit in so that the world can make some sense of you. Even a one year old baby is put into these slots that are socially understandable. It is unbelievable.
As a parent our first instinct is to protect or defend our child but sometimes, with that, there is another feeling that creeps in which is why don’t we “fix” her so that she becomes socially admirable because someone deep down we want everyone to like our child so that she gets acceptability from everyone.
But is that even possible that every person she meets will understand her uniqueness and love her for what she is?
May be not..
It is not possible that everyone will give our child the kind of acceptability she deserves. She will also have, just like us, those few who will love her immensely, stand by her and love her for who she is. I feel there can be nothing more beautiful than to have a few strong pillars in a life than to have an entire fragile fort.
But then what about those negative people and negative situations? As a parent, how do we handle those judgmental comments?
I found a solution yesterday.
Let’s change our perspective and the world around us will change for good.
First of all, as adults we have to learn to be kind and acceptable towards other kids. We have to shed our social conditioning of judging others and put them into slots. We need to learn to accept them for who they are. So they are not bratty or angry or happy, they are kids who are expressing themselves. That’s it.
Secondly, let’s not compare our child to the neighbors kid or to our relative’s child and make her feel lesser of what she is. There is nothing more hurtful for a child than being told by a parent that you are not good enough .
Thirdly, communicate with our child. Help her express every emotion, whether happy or sad. Let her feel comfortable in expressing her anger, frustration, sadness; rather encourage her to do that so that she knows that it is okay to feel a little down.
Above all, we don’t have to protect our child from anyone’s judgments. Neither should we offer explanations to anyone for her choices to anyone nor should we try to fix her in any way. Never.
We just have to let her shine in her own light; the way she wants to. All we need to be is grateful for the love and warmth she has brought into our lives, and stand beside her like a rock to see her grow from strength to strength, at her own terms. Happy parenting!