The Pride of a Parent

One of the best things about being a parent is the constant sense of overwhelming pride you have in your kids. It doesn’t matter if it's getting five out of seven on a spelling test or wiping their bum for the first time without smearing anything on their clothes; the pride you feel for your child is like nothing else.

There are obviously a lot of times where I don’t feel pride, for example, when they think it's acceptable to have a Battle Royale in the middle of Tesco, but it’s the little things that keep you sane.

Watching Them Grow

Our boys aren’t tiny any more, but I remember the sense of elation (and relief) when each of the boys slept through the night for the first time. Why was I so happy (besides the sleep deprivation subsiding and my eyelids feeling like weights had been taken off)? I was telling anyone who would listen - it felt like it was a big deal. When you think about it, watching them grow is a big deal

It's All A Big Deal

As your baby grows into a toddler and then into a preschooler, they develop so quickly.

That development, in a lot of ways, is a testament to your parenting (and nature, obviously), and the sense of pride you feel is like a reward for all of the hard work that you have put in.

Kids these days have it hard. There is a serious amount of pressure from a young age to perform and meet targets set out by authorities that benchmark “normality” - height charts, weight charts, phonics tests, SATS... from a young age, children are categorised and compared. Ironically, I have found that these benchmarks are never the times when I feel proud - it's the times when a hurdle has been overcome that I love most.

Does It Embarrass Them?

I’m a bit of an introvert. The pride I feel in my kids is one of the big things that will draw me out of my shell, and I lower my inhibitions with regard to expressing how I’m actually feeling. What I do worry about is if it embarrassed them, though.

Naturally, they grow up and don’t want attention being brought to them, but I never want to be embarrassing or be “that dad.” I think that showing how much something has impressed you is a key part of helping your kids understand how to praise others.

Does It Stop?

With one of our boys in year two and one at pre-school, I dread to think of all of the times I’m going to say “I’m so proud of you” in their lives. I guess as they get older, the likeness of the reasons is going to seriously amplify. I’m assuming it never really stops…

The thing is, I just want them to be happy. Achievements and success should be byproducts of happiness, not the other way around. I really hope that these boys know how proud I am of them for their whole lives.

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