That Weird Parental Pride

Over the past week or so our bubba made a great milestone – he can now roll over from his tummy to his back, and then back the other way again!

It only took him a few goes to get the hang of it, and now it’s his favourite game.

As parents, we feel such a strong sense of pride watching him. Our baby has learned to roll!

I obviously didn’t really know what it was to feel pride for your child before having my own, but it is such a happy and strange feeling. And it’s not just the rolling – I feel pride when he smiles, when he holds his head up a bit straighter on his own, when he flails around and hits his toys, when he looks at his hands. We show off his skills to our family and friends, beaming when he performs on cue, proud as punch as if it were our own skills we were showcasing.

And that got me thinking.

Isn’t it funny that I am so damn proud of my baby doing something that virtually all babies do? All these perfectly normal, natural, expected behaviours that I knew he would do one day, and yet I feel such a surge of pride about them. I know my husband feels the same way.

Why do we feel pride for our children? I couldn’t find any research on it, the research seems to be focused on self-pride (you can read a meta-analysis here). But my own thought is that perhaps feeling pride encourages us as parents to nurture and further the development of our children. By feeling happiness and pride for their achievements, we are more likely to encourage further achievements, and in order to do that effectively we have to provide the right type of environment. This could include things like interactive toys, more time spent with parents/siblings in direct interactions, actually feeding the child, etc. By doing all those things, we are ensuring the survival of our species through the survival of our child, so perhaps it has a deep biological/evolutionary route. If anyone reading this happens to know of any research in this area, I’d love to read it myself!

Parental pride is such an odd yet natural thing.

What things has your child(ren) done to make you feel proud of them?

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