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Raising Children Or Raising Cain

"Under the horse chestnut tree", 1 p...

“Under the horse chestnut tree”, 1 print : drypoint and aquatint, color ; (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Raising children to meet your own needs can be a form of abuse.  It destroys a child’s self-confidence, their self-concept, and their self-esteem.  It can turn them into people pleasers or renegades.  Instead of learning to take care of themselves, they learn to take care of others.  When this happens they usually rebel or become enablers.  Children learn to change their behavior to make their caregivers happy or miserable.  Either way, they don’t learn how to do what is best for themselves.

Perhaps you are familiar with what people say about “preacher’s kids”.  They are either angels or devils.  They either do exactly what their parents want them to do and live up to their expectations and become good Christians, Catholics, Jews, or Muslims, etc., or they do exactly the opposite.  It doesn’t always happen that way; but it happens often enough for people to frequently say, “Tsk, tsk, what a shame the reverend’s or the rabbi’s children act that way.”

Parents should not feel that they can only succeed in life through their children’s accomplishments.  Some times it is a difficult thing to do.  Doing a good job of raising children and being a success in life can sometimes conflict.  It may require sacrifices that can interfere with a parent’s own goals.  Doing a good job of raising children can represent an accomplishment but parents may not always recognize that what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.  Each child is unique and not a mirror image of one or both of his parents.  Some of the most successful children are not doing anything like their parents are doing and are happy doing it.  To each his own.

Children deserve unconditional love.  No, “I’ll love you if…”  Parents can dislike what a child does and still love him or her.  It takes a mature parent to do this.  Of course, some people are early maturers and some people are late maturers and some mature right on time.  It could be partially due to the example that their parents were for them.  Another part of this equation is the parent’s ability to love him or her self which is more likely when the parent has received unconditional love as a child.

Remember unconditional love must be given away to grow.  The more you give, the more you get.  I hear a , “Yes, but.”  You are thinking that you must withhold love sometimes to prevent a child from doing something that would harm them.  Sometimes the most loving thing to do is to set a boundary that one might think would show that they had stopped loving their child.  Giving a child break after break may only encourage them to keep on doing what will ultimately hurt them severely.  It takes great love to do this.  This is one of the biggest sacrifices a parent can make a for a child which is to risk losing them forever.


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