Feeling ashamed because your child is different

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Feeling ashamed because your child is different

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One of the most important tasks for a parent, particularly with their first child, is to give up the hopes, dreams, preconceptions they had about who that child is going to be. Lot of parents want their child to be good at what they weren’t good at or to continue work that they started. These kind of hopes and dreams you put upon the child. Well, those can be very destructive. You want to love the child you have. That’s the child who needs your love. Not the child you wish you had. And the magic is when you start loving the child you actually have, that child will flourish and surprise you with the beauty, grandeur, magnificence that he or she can grow into. But if you burden that child with the feeling that I’m not who you want me to be, that stunts growth. That kills the spirit of a child. And I see it all too often. Let go of those wishes, hopes, dreams and instead dream of this child turning into who knows what, but with your love. It will be wonderful.

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Edward Hallowell, MD, EdD

Psychiatrist, ADHD Specialist, & Author

Edward (Ned) Hallowell, MD, EdD is a Harvard-trained Child and Adult Psychiatrist in practice in Sudbury, MA (outside Boston) and New York City. The author of 18 books, Dr. Hallowell specializes in learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia, both of which he has himself.  He has also written extensively on general issues of parenting and living in our modern age. He lives in the Boston area with his wife of 23 years, Sue, and their three children, Lucy, Jack, and Tucker.

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