I recently read an article about an amazing woman born with cerebral palsy, who was challenged with many struggles while growing up. Yet, inspired by the determination and untiring efforts of her parents she led a normal life.
One significant challenge was her unclear speech, which left her feeling socially inferior. But that didn’t deter her from going the classic route of every ‘regular’ kid, graduating High School, college, and getting married.
Here’s the catch. To quote her, “I worried about what parenting would be like. Given my social problems, would I be able to connect with my children?”
Reading this irked me.
The article described her strong character, grit and courage which enabled her to overcome so many obstacles that life had dished out for her.
Yet, when it came to parenting, ‘social problems’ became intertwined with the concept of ‘connecting to her children’, potentially undermining and weakening her confidence as a parent.
Allow me to bust a myth. The mantras we hear about ‘connecting’ with our children haven’t created better relationships between parents and children. They have only caused confusion and frustration. Aside from being unsettling, it’s unnecessary!
The connection between parent and childr is intrinsic. It is not dependent on ‘social skills’, not of the parents nor the child for that matter. Being inherent, it endures from the minute the child is born, throughout life. More so, it is sensed without a word being said!
How the connection manifests itself depends on the dynamics between parent and child, and that has nothing to do with social skills that a parent may or may not have!
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!