Not too long ago, I was contacted by a large family for therapy and counseling.
The children, including the adult ones, were all uncontrollably “acting up.”
They’re in family pain together because of alcoholism, drug abuse, infidelity, and fighting/alienation among the children.
“I don’t think I can take it anymore, I’d rather die,” said one of the younger daughters.
Interestingly, all the other children in the family appear to have the “same script” in varied forms.
Here’s a key: the parents - both Mom and Dad - since the early years of their family, were constantly fighting each other about money, properties, and children. Both verbally and physically.
She pointed out a truth, speaking to parents:
“Despite their behaviors, children are usually not the problem. It’s about you as a parent.”
I myself had blind spots as a parent parenting my three children when they were growing up.
Yes, it’s true. There’s no perfect parent.
But we can grow. We can change. To better respond to our children, free from the dictates of our past.
How are those unseen forces shaping our parenting?
Through therapy, we can learn to understand our children’s spotlight. We can set goals for ourselves to improve our responses to our children.
Then, along the way as we heal and grow as parents, we will change our children by changing the quality of love we give them.