Updated: Oct 18, 2018
"I'm a Proud Mom/Dad of an Awesome kid"
"I'm a Proud Parent of an Honor Roll Student!"
I love reading the stickers that parents have on the backs of their cars proclaiming their child's strengths. I'm not put off by reading them, however, I've never felt compelled to stick one on mine. Partly because I feel like the minute you profess their advantages, there is an immediate expectation that other people hold them to. Have you ever heard side conversations among parents almost happy to hear when another child hasn't measured up to the known standard? I have. And at times, I've even fallen into some of those conversations. The truth is, we want our kids to be the BEST and reading something that reminds us where are own children are falling short, can be challenging! It's hard to not let our parental pride get into the way of realistic expectations for our children. Everything can feel like a competition.
The other reason I am not prone to the Proud Parent Sticker is because I've yet to see one that would be honest and true to how I really feel at times! Mine would be too wordy and possibly sarcastic and would say something real like,
"I love my kids, but how they treated their siblings this morning made me anything but proud!"
"I am the proud parent of an imperfect and average child, who has the potential to be above average in all areas, however, depending upon the laziness or attitude they are exuding on any given day, the results may vary!"
I'm probably overcautious in this area, but I know it can be a slippery slope when I "toot my kids horn," too much. I am proud of my children and I think its great that other people are too, but sometimes I like to reserve shouting it from the rooftops so they don't begin to think they are better than anyone else. The definition of pride varies from dignity, honor and joy to arrogance, self-importance and disdain. I find it eye-opening how one definition of the word can lead to another so quickly.
It is important for me to balance wanting them to be looked up to, while never looking down on anyone else. Empathy, compassion and humbleness are the things that make me proud. Sometimes they are regularly exhibited and other times not. They will always have room to grow and guidance to seek. They need to remember that there is only one Judge that is "crown worthy" and it isn't us or them.
Their natural self-consumption can also assist in having them look down instead of looking up. And I was recently reminded of that truth when I read this quote:
"AS LONG AS YOU ARE PROUD YOU CANNOT KOW GOD. A PROUD PERSON IS ALWAYS LOOKING DOWN ON THINGS AND PEOPLE; AND, OF COURSE, AS LONG AS YOU ARE LOOKING DOWN, YOU CANNOT SEE SOMETHING THAT IS ABOVE YOU." ~ C.S. Lewis
I don't want my pride as a parent to interfere with the knowledge that, the only way to get to the top, is to seek out The One who is already at the top.
The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted that day. (Isaiah 2:11)