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There is no “know-it-all parent”

by , 19th Feb 2020

The arrival of my first baby girl aroused feelings and concerns I had no time to address in my past life. Over time, my daughter noticed that my steps were not quite as stable as other people’s. The day when, even though she was very little, I told her that I would never walk as she did will stick in my memory forever.

Although born with cerebral palsy, I grew up without feeling the condition was some kind of obstacle that made me different from other people. With huge support from my parents, I reached my goals single-handedly, sometimes even sooner than some of my peers. I learned not to give room – neither to my fears nor to noisy questions from others. However, when I became a mom for the first time at the age of 26, everything changed.

The arrival of my first baby girl aroused feelings and concerns I had no time to address in my past life.

Over time, my daughter noticed that my steps were not quite as stable as other people’s. Curious just as I was, she asked a ton of questions and sometimes would “teach” me on the street how to walk. That process was quite overwhelming for me, and the day when, even though she was very little, I told her that I would never walk as she did will stick in my memory forever. I vaguely remember my explanation, the sharp look in her eyes, and many tears I wept when I was on my own. Today, the memory of that moment stirs my emotions, but back then, I also experienced enormous relief. Thanks to my instinct, I knew she understood and, more importantly, fully grasped what I was telling her.

I knew that, in spite of the awful moment, everything will be OK.

However, the arrival of my second daughter five years later meant I had to start everything from scratch.  Plenty of questions in different situations, once again struggling to restrain emotions and the enormous help from my husband. None of that was missing.

"Although born with cerebral palsy, I grew up without feeling the condition was some kind of obstacle that made me different from other people. With huge support from my parents, I reached my goals single-handedly, sometimes even sooner than some of my peers. I learned not to give room – neither to my fears nor to noisy questions from others. However, when I became a parent at the age of 26, everything changed".

“Although born with cerebral palsy, I grew up without feeling the condition was some kind of obstacle that made me different from other people. With huge support from my parents, I reached my goals single-handedly, sometimes even sooner than some of my peers. I learned not to give room – neither to my fears nor to noisy questions from others. However, when I became a parent at the age of 26, everything changed”.

Still, this time I had my older daughter by my side. She was my greatest support in this new-old adventure, to apply an appropriate method that appeals to children’s sensibility, reality, and my capabilities so that I could let another child get to know me. Lina is now 9, and Nahla 4. They function on the principle according to which the older sister teaches the younger the law that is obeyed. Although we talk a lot, my biggest challenge is far simpler now than it was nine years ago.

Together, we participated in the Novak Đoković Foundation’s “Support, not Perfection” program, aiming to allow my children to see their mom learn. Because of them, I attended a parenting school because a know-it-all parent does not exist.

I met some wonderful people, leaving every meeting with a more intense feeling of connection between people. By sharing my experience with others within the program, I learned that imperfection and fear are part of us all, but because of their many forms, some moms and dads just use different terms for them. I am proud of everyone who participated in this program.

Although we still don’t know each other enough, we have shared more love and honesty than some people who spend years together.

Lina and Nahla had the opportunity to see their mom working hard to be the best parent there to them. Thanks to the “Support, not Perfection” program, I once again showed them that as long as the whole family sticks together, our steps will be steady.

The "Support, not perfection" program was implemented in the municipality of Novi Pazar for the first time during its sixth cycle.

The “Support, not perfection” program was implemented in the municipality of Novi Pazar for the first time during its sixth cycle.


The aim of the free “Support, not perfection” program for parents and guardians is to empower them to recognize the needs and feelings of the child and to teach them that there are no ready-made solutions and perfect parents, but parents/guardians who love and understand the child. The sixth cycle of the project has just been completed, and in the two and a half years of its existence, the program has educated more than 1,200 parents and guardians, which indirectly had an impact on over 2,500 children. The “Support, not perfection” program is implemented in collaboration with Generali Insurance Serbia and The Human Safety Net.

2 comments

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  • agentzerotwo0@yahoo.com' Louise Cordet says:

    It always bothers me that I don’t consider myself a good enough parent. It took me a while to lower the demands on myself. But sometimes I still have my doubts and it bothers me.
    Thank you for your inspiring example! And I am definitely interested in your program!

    • NDFAdmin says:

      Dear Louise,

      Thank you for sharing your parenting worries with us. We are currently working on more parenting material in English, so keep following our social media and blog! There will be even more interesting and helpful content. 🙂

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