Admit it. You have big dreams for your little one. They may not have arrived on this Earth yet, but you have already decided what they will become, where they will live and maybe even who they might fall in love with.
Every parent has expectations for their child. So, what happens when your child walks a path that is different to the one you had imagined for them?
At the end of the day, their happiness and their health matter more than where they live, who they spend their life with (if anyone) and what they strive to do. If they are doing good in the world and helping others on their way, what could make you prouder?
A journey of acceptance
We all deal with hardship and challenges in our lives. Some struggle more than others. We all go on a journey of learning who we are, discovering our identity and working out who we want to become. Your baby will be no different. It is important to support them and to guide them whenever they ask for your help.
How can I help as my child grows-up?
Make communication a top priority. Your child should be able to talk to you about difficult and challenging subjects.
Avoid scaring your child. You should always be a person they can trust and confide in.
Acknowledge their requests for help. Something may be difficult to face head-on but it will be easier to tackle together straight away than pretending it isn’t there.
Lead by example. Call out inappropriate behavior (for example, racism, homophobia or bullying) and show your child that it simply isn’t acceptable.
Don’t judge others. Keep critical opinions to yourself. Your child will pick-up on what you say and do more than you realize.
A future for everyone
The world is slowly becoming a more accepting place. Teach your child to be aware and accepting of this, too. Past generations have worked hard to make sure future journeys aren’t so difficult – let your child embrace this and be the change for the generations to come.
If at any point you struggle to identify with or connect to your child, seek out help. Do it sooner, rather than later. Putting something off rarely helps to resolve it. There are so many resources available, including child and family therapists. Talking as a family can be incredibly beneficial and may help you understand each other again.
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