By guest author Cindy Puhek
What picture comes to mind when I say “stage mother?” Most of us think of a parent of a talented child who is excelling in some activity like theater, music, or sports. This parent has crossed the line from being supportive to being overly invested in unhealthy ways. This Mom is always advocating for opportunities for her child, she is easily angered at real or perceived injustice towards her child, and is jealous of another child’s opportunities, talents, or successes. This mom is often described as toxically living vicariously through her children.
The definition of vicarious is “experienced through the feelings or actions of another person.” Living vicariously through my children and becoming a pushy, destructive Mom as a result is a very real temptation. As parents, the glory and praise for our children’s accomplishments are reflected onto us. People congratulate us. They ask us for advice. In some ways, parents of successful children become famous and that can feel really good. We can feel important and significant because we have a successful child.
As homeschooling parents, the reflected glory from our children’s accomplishments is even greater because our investment in our children is so high. And the temptation to begin living vicariously through our children and find our worth and defining success through our children’s accomplishments is equally stronger. It is easy for us to begin pressuring our children to continue to succeed because it makes us look successful too. Our children are very perceptive. They feel the subtle pressure to succeed, and this can be very destructive to our relationships with our children.Read More