Two Kinds of Parents

ImageChef.comYou might think I mean adoptive versus biological but I don’t.

I mean this:

In my experience there are two kinds of parents:

Those who feel honoured and privileged to be parents and those who feel it is the kids who are privileged.

The first group says, “How did I get so lucky as to have this wonderful little person in my life.”

The second group says, “This kid owes me for all the stuff I do/money I spend/things I gave up because of him/her.  I’ve made an investment here and I am waiting for it to pay a dividend.”

That is not a reference to adoptive parents, I see this attitude in biological parents too.

You might think that the first kind are the indulgent parents but in my opinion that is not true. They are the long term thinkers who always have the kids’ interests at heart.  Sometimes that means saying no.  They don’t guilt or manipulate, they love.

They don’t expect perfection.  They know Errare humanus est.  To err is human. 

My daughter used to have a plaque on her wall that I bought when she was a baby.  Remember that I had her after I met my son.  I put it up there as a reminder for myself.  I am sure you’ve heard it before.

It goes something like…

If a child knows love …maybe I will go on line and see if I can find it.

Found it.  Here it is…

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.

If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be self-confident.

If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,
he learns to have a goal.

If a child lives with fairness,
he learns what justice is.

If a child lives with honesty,
he learns what truth is.

If a child lives with sincerity,
he learns to have faith in himself and
those around him.

If a child lives with love,
he learns that the world is
a wonderful place to live in.

Author unknown

I love being my daughter’s mother.  I cannot think of a time when I didn’t think she was communicating with me.  (And that was before the current craze of teaching kids sign language.)

I loved the infant, the baby, the toddler, the girl, the teenager and I love the young woman.  Every stage has been great and full of wonder.

I talk to her about adoption.  She understands.  She gets it.  She has been hurt by it too.




3 Responses to Two Kinds of Parents

  1. joy21 says:

    Good post.

    There is a parallel to relinquishing mothers too I think. Only it would be between those with compassion for the adoptee’s struggles and the camp that can only see their own suffering and complain that adoptees aren’t focusing on their feelings enough.

    I think the compassion is born of an inner strength.

    although I really have no idea.

    Anyway you have me thinking.

  2. FANTASTIC post. I wish every parent could read it.

    My adoptive parents were in that second group, too. I think some adoptive parents end up there because of all the expectations placed upon them by the agencies and their own infertility. Of course as you pointed out, it’s not limited to adoption, but I think the circumstances of adoption may make adoptive parents particularly vulnerable. They feel as though they have gone through great lengths to obtain this child and, darn it, that kid’s gonna meet those expectations.

    I have two children of my own, biological (in fact the only biological relatives I have ever met, which in itself is messed up). Not a day goes by that I don’t thank whatever powers that be for their presence. Somehow, I got blessed by these two wonderful, unique human beings, and my job is to be their advocate and help them be the best selves they can be, according to their own talents and desires. They owe me nothing. I am the one in their debt.

  3. suz says:

    Wow. Love this post.

    AS a parent to my boys,i am absolutely in the first group. I literally told my sons yesterday that I was lucky to be their mother and how did I get such amazing awesome young men to parent?

    My own parents (my dad at least) was absolutely in the second group and yes, actually said those things to me and my siblings.

    And YES, my parented sons understand adoption and they are very hurt by it too. Just yesterday I was sitting alone in my sons room looking at a picture he has in his room of his sister (whom he has never met) that is labelled as his hero and talks about his cool sister and how much he loves her.

    I want so badly to rip that photo down but I will not It is all he has of her. He must dream his dreams as I must dream mine in relation to her.

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