I hear that being a parent is very hard work and I agree even though I am not a parent. Most of my friends have children. My husband has a son. Therefore, I see and hear about all the sacrifices that they have gladly made. I get to witness some of these sacrifices my friends choose to make for their children. It’s not always fun but they do it out of love.
Teachers also make sacrifices for the children in their classes. I did. I had to do my best to be at my best for the children I worked with. Did I get exasperated when a toddler was high spirited or had behavioral problems and needed extra attention? Yes! Did I feel stressed out when I worked with infants and they all started crying at the same time with only my aide and me in the room? Yes!
However, I never held it against them because I chose to be a teacher and I understood that they were just being themselves. I understand how the child brain works so to hold that against them would have deeply hurt my connections with them. Children are also very perceptive. They can feel our stress and negative vibes.
I am severely physically disabled and I understand that I am a lot of work. It must be even more difficult to parent a child with a disability because he/she requires even more care and can’t always do activities that typical children can, especially children with sensory issues such as aversion to loud noises. Should it be held against a child if he/she gets overwhelmed by crowds or loud noises? No, of course not, because it’s out of their control!
According to dictionary.com, the definition of resentment is:
“nounthe feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person,etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.”
So a person who feels resentment towards his/her children believes that the children have caused “injury or insult” to him/her and holds it against them. These people are not able to let it go. Let’s face it, children will hurt us sometimes but they usually don’t truly mean it. And children are born with the ability to love unconditionally.
They didn’t ask to be conceived and born. They didn’t ask to have an immature brain that doesn’t allow them to have total impulse control over their behaviors. And children with disabilities didn’t ask for it either!
I know parents don’t ask for their children to be disabled or high spirited. However, by choosing to become a parent, parents should be ready for anything even if this means asking for help when they are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do or are exhausted. I understand that getting help and support isn’t always easy and our country has much work to do in supporting families of every type. Organizations also need to step up the resources and support for families. But help is out there.
Your screaming baby isn’t screaming just to drive you to tears. He/She needs you and may not be able to sleep. It’s not the baby’s fault. Your preschooler isn’t hitting you and having meltdowns just to embarrass you or make you crazy. He/She just don’t have the ability to deal with big feelings without your help. The child needs you to gently but firmly guide him/her through the process. It’s not the child’s fault. Your teenager isn’t saying mean things to you because he/she truly means it. Teens still require help dealing with strong emotions and it’s not their fault. Children need discipline and care.
Your child with disabilities isn’t trying to hold you back because he/she requires your constant care. The child needs you! It’s not his/her fault!
Children learn a lot from the adults around them. They must learn about empathy, grace, and unconditional love in order to give it back. It’s true that parents will get angry, frustrated, and exasperated with their children. They will need breaks and self care. But parents have chosen to be the child’s parents, therefore, to hold everything against the child is not appropriate. If a parent is feeling resentful of the children, then he/she must seek help from professionals. If not, then the relationship with the children will be tainted and may even become abusive.
Parenting is the hardest job in the world. Believe it or not, so is being a child trying to learn and navigate through this new world. Respect the children and the children will respect their parents unless they have a mental illness that needs addressing. Respect begets respect. Resentment begets broken relationships.