My Daughter's Motivation - FamilyEducation

My Daughter's Motivation

January 28,2009
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

I attended a funeral the other day. Two Spanish women and a white woman stood next to the bereaving daughter. As I approached, I realized they were my daughter’s principal, guidance counselor, and teacher. They welcomed me with high regard (this has been happening since my daughter was in kindergarten): “This is Porshai’s mother!” Porshai is a great student and a leader among her peers. “You’re doing an amazing job,” they said. I thought about that flattering remark. Are we doing anything in particular that could be credited with her success? My husband and I began to wonder what our daughter’s motivation might be. A day or two passed. My husband called my cell. He had asked Porshai what was her motivation was. She said, “Harvard and my uncle.” Then she added, “I want to get more than just an associate’s degree.” (the highest level of education for my husband and me). My husband waited for my reaction. “That’s good,” I said. But I could tell that both of us were somewhat disappointed that she didn’t say, “You two are my motivation.” Later that evening my husband asked me, “Are we doing bad?” “No,” I said, “I can see why she thinks highly of her uncle.” Yet, there is a place in the hearts of all parents that wants them to be their child’s inspiration. Is that selfish of us as parents?