Ethan is four now, and thinks it’s time to learn how to ride his bike without training wheels. His “girlfriend” down the street rides her bike without training wheels, as does his best friend/cousin Kannon. They are a year older than him, but of course this does not matter to him – what matters is that he does what they can do.
To say that this has been a pleasurable process would be a lie. He’s frustrated and ready to give up. I’m frustrated that he’s frustrated and ready to give up. We don’t give up is what his dad keeps telling him.
But the reason that we continue to push him, continue to help him, is because we can already envision the look of pride on his face when he finally does it. We can already feel the pride welling up inside of our hearts as we watch him trying to achieve a goal he’s set for himself.
Parental Pride: one of the best feelings in the world.
I remember the kids all taking their first steps; the huge smiles on their faces and then complete confusion as we ran around like idiots jumping up and down for joy that they finally learned to walk.
I remember watching Ethan write his name…all by himself…for the first time and actually crying. I don’t think I have ever been so proud in my entire life. The happiness and joy I felt, and that indescribable feeling in my heart were priceless. Those feelings make this parenting gig completely worth it.
And this morning I bought the girls these cute little bubble blowers. They couldn’t figure out how to blow in them to get them to work properly. But they kept trying, and were so excited to blow their own bubbles!
When I was around 16, I decided to get a job. I went down to the local grocery store and applied for a job. I went to the interview and waited patiently to hear the news. I did this all on my own. My parents were so proud when they got the news: I had got the job. Not only was it a milestone, but proof that the sense of responsibility they instilled in me had stuck – that I would grow up and be a responsible adult. I’m sure there was a sense of relief involved there, too!
Fostering pride in children is so important. They have to believe in themselves. I continue to drill into my kids is that they cannot give up. That failing is part of the process of learning how to do something. That they have to believe that they can do it. That sometimes you have to work at something for a long time before you master it. That learning can be a lot of work, that it can be hard, and that it’s not always fun…but that once you achieve a goal you’ve been working towards, all of the work is worth it.
There’s a fine line between being proud of yourself and being prideful…what I would like to know is how you foster a sense of pride in your children? How do you make sure they don’t become prideful?
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