Embarrassing parents - swan duckling

Embarrassing parents – swan duckling

There is no such thing as a dumb question, but there is such a thing as a wrong question. One of the most common wrong questions parents ask is “Do our kids understand how much we do and sacrifice for them?” I thought of then when I heard these words while listening to my favorite poet David Whyte’s audiobook, Midlife and the Great Unknown: Finding Courage and Clarity Through Poetry. Children understand all too well, in a way that is uncomfortable to contemplate:

One of the tragedies of a child’s life quite often is when they realize that their parents are completely and utterly burdened by their responsibilities and they have no sense of timeless entrance into their own tiny world. And there is a sense of existential disappointment that children feel when they find that their parents are, unbeknownst to them, welcoming them into a world that lacks imagination.

[…]Quite often we carry weights which should be not weight at all, and children are carried as a burden when in fact when they want some other frontier between you and them. There is nothing more tragic than the child suddenly realizing that even though the parent is spending time with them, they are just another thing the parent has to do before they move on to the next thing that they do.

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