Parent Tip: Why It’s Unhealthy When Your Ambition Outstrips Your Daughter’s
There are some parents whose ambition exceeds their daughters’. They imagine their daughters are destined for more than they themselves realize, and think it’s their job as parents to clarify the mistake.
It does not make a girl feel respected or loved to have her parent proclaim that the world doesn’t understand how fabulous she is. It makes her suspect that her parents don’t think she is enough as she is, and that she must be more, more than she appears now to be capable of. It becomes an indirect form of parental criticism – instead of criticizing the girl, you criticize everyone else around her. The upshot, write Drs. Suniya Luthar and Barry Schwartz, is that teens believe parental pride is contingent on being a star. “Children come to feel that any failure to accomplish will seriously diminish the acceptance and esteem with which their parents regard them.”
I’m not sure of the solution just yet, but I do know we have to check ourselves. We cannot live out our dreams or try to resolve our own choices or limitations through our kids.