While certain universal principles apply to all children, no two are alike, and it’s a mistake to treat them as if they were. When raising a child. It’s essential to not live vicariously through them. Whatever you weren’t able to do in your own life or things you were never able to try, it’s important not to make your child do them. There are certain downsides to living vicariously through your children:
Setting Unrealistic Expectations
Trying to mould your child into what you used to be can set them up for unrealistic expectations. Just because you were a star athlete in school, doesn’t mean your children will want to follow in your footsteps. Even though you got straight A’s in school, this doesn’t necessarily mean your children are capable of a set of top results. While you should never tolerate or reward laziness, you need to accept that not all children are equally gifted athletically or intellectually. Let your child discover and grow into their own special skills and talents.
Becoming Too Dependent
By trying to make your child into what you want them to be, they can become too dependent on others when it comes to happiness and fulfilment in life. Don’t try to relive your life through your kids. You had your chance, and just because you didn’t make the grade in your chosen profession doesn’t mean you should force your son or daughter in that direction.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it’ not necessarily the way you would go, or want him or her to go.’
If a child’s life only has meaning in the accomplishments of their parents, they are leaving their happiness and meaning in the hands of someone else. This will cause them to lose a sense of independence and they won’t have the confidence or even the ability to navigate their own life into adulthood.
Finding Their Individuality
Before trying to get your child to live the life you saw for yourself, it’s imperative to understand there is no way to fulfill your own dreams through your child. Children are separate from their parents, which is why it is inevitable that your child is bound to have different interests, hopes, and dreams. They need to have their own life and develop their individuality.
This article was originally published on LachlanSoper.org.au