Most of us really donít like it when someone is angry at us.
We donít like it when people go into resistance to helping us
when we need help, instead of caring about us. We donít like it
when people withdraw from us, disconnecting from us and shutting
us out. We donít like it when people make demands on us and do
not respect our right or need to say no. Many of us will do
almost anything to avoid the soul loneliness and pain we feel
when people treat us in angry, resistant, demanding and uncaring
It takes great courage to stay loving to ourselves and others
when faced with othersí angry and closed behavior. It especially
take courage when the people we are dealing with are our own
children. Yet unless we have the courage to come up against our
childrenís anger, resistance, and withdrawal, we will give
ourselves up and not take care of ourselves to avoid their
uncaring reactions. The more we deny our own truth and our own
needs and feelings, the more our children will disrespect and
discount us. Our children become a mirror of our own behavior,
discounting us when we discount ourselves, disrespecting us when
we disrespect ourselves. The more we give ourselves up to avoid
our childrenís unloving behavior toward us, the more we become
objectified as the all-giving and loving parent who doesnít need
anything for ourselves. When we do this, we are role-modeling
being a caretaker.
On the other hand, it is unloving to
ourselves and our children to expect our children to take
responsibility for our well-being. It is unloving to demand that
our children give themselves up to prove their love for us and
to pacify our fears. It is unloving to demand that they be the
way we want them to be rather than who they are. It is unloving
to set limits just to make us feel safe, rather than limits that
support their health and safety. When we behave in this way, we
are role-modeling being a taker.
The challenge of good
parenting is to find the balanced between being there for our
children and being there for ourselves, as well as the balance
between freedom and responsibility - to be personally
responsible to ourselves rather than be a taker or a caretaker.
Our decisions need to be based on what is in the highest good of
our children as well as ourselves. If a child wants something
that is not in our highest good to give, then it is not loving
to give it. If we want something that is not in the highest good
of our children, then it is not loving for us to expect it. It
is loving to support our childrenís freedom to choose what they
want and to be themselves, as long as it doesnít mean giving
ourselves up. Children do not learn responsible behavior toward
others when their parents discount their own needs and feelings
to support what their children want. Our own freedom to choose
what we want and to be ourselves needs to be just as important
to us as our childrenís freedom and desires.
On the other
hand, if we always put our needs before our childrenís, we are
behaving in a self-centered, narcissistic way that limits our
childrenís freedom. We are training our children to be
caretakers, to give themselves up for otherís needs and not
consider their own.
The challenge of loving parenting is to role-model behavior
that is personally responsible, rather than being a taker or
caretaker. This is our best chance for bringing up personally
responsible children. However, we need to remember that we can
do everything ďrightĒ as a parent, but our children are on their
own path, their own soulís journey. They will make their own
choices to be loving or unloving, responsible or irresponsible.
We can influence their choices, but we canít control them. They
have free will, just as we do, to choose who they want to be
each moment of their lives. All we can do is the very best we
can to role-model loving, personally responsible behavior -
behavior that supports our own and our childrenís highest good.
About the Author:
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., best-selling author of eight books,
including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You" and
co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn
Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding
email her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone Sessions.