Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Is there one secret to Parenting?

I often tell clients and friends that the secret to being a good parent lies in the ability to communicate unconditional love through all the lessons that must be taught and/or learned. Everyone makes mistakes. Parents become overwhelmed and make critical remarks, children misunderstand and rebel against the lessons that must be learned. Through all this interaction, when the mother or father is able to show his or her child that he or she is loved, that small person gains the ability to survive the tumultuous experience of growing up.

There are, unfortunately many people out there raising children who are unable to let their sons and daughters know that they are loved and are valuable individuals. And the question is raised: How can people who call themselves parents inflict such horrors on their off-spring? Do those people dislike themselves so much that they are unable to separate their own pain from the sorrows being inflicted on their children?

When working with my clients I am regularly reminded of the fear and anger their parents must have experienced in their own lives to create such pain in the people in my office. I do NOT expect my clients to forgive the mother or father who said and did unspeakably cruel things but in the process of getting stronger and of learning how to care for themselves, they often gain an understanding of their parents' pain. The benefit of this insight enhances their ability to create loving relationships for themselves (first) and then for the significant people in their lives.

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