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Popular Child Star
Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
As children, my sister and I read a story of a popular child star, who is pushed by her overambitious, proud mother into taking up as many assignments as possible. All is well as the money and fame pour in … till the girl starts showing obvious signs of growing up. The mother cannot accept the end of her starry reign and starts plotting to keep her a child forever. She dresses her in clothes that are too small for her, styles her hair in ribbons, and staunchly refuses to acknowledge the natural process of growth.
The child is so traumatized that she flips the lid one day and kills her own mother! But, by then, it is too late for her and from here on she remains stuck in that time frame – a child forever in a mental asylum!
My sister and I often discussed the story in our growing years as we warily looked for signs of distress on our mother’s face at our natural growing-up milestones. But I guess we were no stars, nor the stakes stacked high against our growing up. And our mother was a normal, healthy Mom. And so, we grew up happily and at ease.
But somehow I have never forgotten the scary images from that story. I have often been reminded of it when I see mothers pushing their children into activities with a view to gaining some momentary fame. Or mothers who try to take credit for their children’s achievements.
A Narcissistic Mom must be a terrifying thing—a Mom who demands and expects all attention, who sees her children as extensions of herself, views them as little trophies to hold up and prove her own worth to the world. And it must be equally tough to handle a Mom who is a control freak.
Attuned to responding to every kick and wriggle of the child inside the womb, to little whimperings from the cradle, to the full-throated bawling from the playground, a Mother even trains her intuition to respond to a child’s unsaid, unheard cry of pain and panic from near or afar. Such a leaning is tough to straighten up.
As children grow and develop minds of their own, they also gain a voice that may be raised against the Mom. Every Mom needs to be prepared for this moment. It is a constant process of growing up – for the child as well as for the mother.
A mother’s biggest gift to her children is the confidence she gives them that they are loved as they are, valued for being themselves, without criticism, without judgement. And only a mother can love like that without even trying.
On the basis of your reading of the above passage, complete the following sentences with appropriate words/phrases:
1. I read a story…………. who is pushed by her overambitious mother into taking up as many assignments as possible.
2. The mother cannot accept the end of her starry reign and starts plotting …………
3. She dresses her in clothes that are too small for her and refuses to acknowledge the………….
4. As children grow and develop minds of their own, they also gain a voice that…………..
5. A mother’s greatest gift to her children is the…………them.
6. As our mother was a normal, healthy Mom, we grew up …………..
7. A narcissistic mother is a terrible thing who demands and expects all attention to herself and sees her children …………….
8. It must be equally tough to handle a mother who…………
1.of a popular child star
2. to keep her a child forever
3. natural process of growth
4. may be raised against their own mother
5. confidence that she gives
6. happily and at ease
7. as extensions of herself
8. is a control freak
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