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"My son is so shy, he doesn't have many friends and no matter how much I try he doesn't interact with anybody. My daughter is like a tomboy, I got her many barbie dolls and teddy bears but she doesn't seem to like any. I wish she behaved like a normal girl". I hope you are not new to all these statements and we might be one of those parents who love them so much, expecting them to change because we believe it is difficult on the kid to grow up like that.
So who decides what is right and what is wrong for them? I know you are thinking it's obviously the parent's responsibility. But let me ask you, do we actually know what is right for them or do we enforce these things on them because we are trying to hard to undo what we missed in our own life because of our own anxieties? The truth is that we over emphasize the consequences of their behavior because we are seeing ourselves in our kids.There will always be someone who's better looking, more talented, more intellectual, more successful than you. But there can never be another you. We may not be able to embrace this fact in our own lives, but it shouldn't be the archetype for our kids life. Don't make it a sour grape for them.
The only thing we can do is to control how we are reacting to it. We need to acknowledge what we feel and then stop acting on it. Instead of being prejudiced about their behavior we can ask them if they are happy being themselves and with who they are. A kid who is alone, shy and doesn't have many friends may not be unhappy and distressed. There is no reason as to believe that a girl who grows up to be a tomboy will have a trouble getting married as well. The more we try to change them the more we pervade them with a deep sense of insecurity, inferiority, self-doubt and a distrust in us. Your love for them shouldn't be suffocating that it makes them vulnerable and they detest you for it. It should be enough to make them feel smug with their own imperfections.
You should feel bad when you are not able to understand why your kid is unhappy and not when they are doing things which you think is not worth their salt. A kid is never born perfect, the way a tailor made life can never be given because we can never know what the life has in store for them. Give them the freedom to figure it out themselves. Don't let your disappointment about their aspirations effect the way you love them. Guide them but never guard them from failures. It is that little imperfections which make them unique. We make these imperfections their strengths to give them a life where they are actually living it with us becoming their most delightful memory.
I say don't change your kids to race with the world, instead raise them to change the world!