Fathers who value athletes often tragically reject a son whose interests and talents are nonathletic. Mothers who value physical beauty can reject a daughter who does not fit the cultural stereotype of female beauty. Parents whose lives have been enriched by music often show a non-musical child how deeply disappointed in him they are. Parents who value academic and scholastic competence can cause irreparable emotional damage in a child who does not have this special type of intelligence.
Fewer behaviors will be unacceptable to parents if they realize that there is an infinite variety of ways in life for them to go. The beauty in nature, and the miracle of life, is this vast variety in the living forms.
I often tell parents, "Don't want your child to become something in particular; just want him to become." With such an attitude parents will inevitably find themselves feeling more and more accepting of each child and experiencing joy and excitement watching each become.
An excerpt from Chapter 15 of the P.E.T. Book, by Dr. Thomas Gordon