Parents and children: 5 hard truths that must be recognized

"Parents have been given life, and you're in front of them in debt"

If you understand rationally, you get this: the parents unilaterally made the decision about the birth of a new life. They didn't ask the child whether he wants to live with these parents, to be born in this time/ in this country/ in this social layer, etc. the Parents themselves wanted to decide themselves and brought themselves into this world a new person. For the consequences of their choice they are, therefore, absolute responsibility.

Many of my clients, being under the pressure of this myth fall into the trap: on the one hand, life is the great gift for which we should be grateful. With the other requirements of thanks from parents are sometimes so easy to make compatible with the life of the children themselves that the result is the protest against these claims, which is inevitably accompanied by guilt. It should be the same "all his life to pay the bills gratitude for the gift of life!" And here I propose to reflect on the word "gift". Because most parents say "we gave you life, we gave". Not sold, not concluded the contract of compensated rendering of services is not invested in order to obtain dividends, as presented. That is, given the gift. Do something for this child? In fact – no. And hard phrase of other protesters children in the spirit of "I didn't ask you to give birth to me and I owe you nothing" — alas, the harsh truth.

Look at the situation from the parents. We have to admit that in fact the decision about the baby few of them really understood.

It involved many factors: the mere instinct that is not always comprehended, constant pressure from society/relatives, which is to ensure that if you have not continued the kind – you can't be considered complete and valid, the need to be someone really loved (if there is an acute shortage of love from a partner or relatives).

In General, often in practice it turns out that the child – not the free choice of the parents, and a kind of necessity, need to assert themselves and/or something to compensate. Hence the requirements. Because the child is important not in itself, but as a guarantor of certain expectations that are imposed on it.

Most parents are not aware of their motives until the end. And sometimes I sincerely believe that demand reasonable things.

Returning to the subject of obligation, again run in to the same tune: how a small child can be held responsible for your expectations? How can he be responsible for what his mom or dad have not received love in abundance? Or because they simply had not thought in a moment of passion about whether they child at all at the moment? Or because someone of the parents were afraid to appear to others to have failed, and therefore decided to have the baby? Alas, the harsh truth again that it is the problem of the parent. But not the child. And we have to admit that for whatever reason the parent has not made a choice – the choice is the parent's choice as an adult. The choice to give life, not to sign a contract for a life annuity.

There is also a caveat: parents are often afraid (consciously or not) that the child will malokontroliruemyh that the parents will not his authority, and therefore, the arguments "because I'm your father/your mother, I brought you in this world, and why you should listen to me" becomes a daily reality.

As a result, the authority is won not through actions that could cause a child's respect, but through fear and pressure. That on its own effectively, but does not form a truly warm relationship between parent and child. I suggest already grown-up children to think about a simple thing: if the parents so won the trust of the child if they fear that they will not listen – as they have in this case, it was the case with self-esteem? Would a confident person living a full life, happy and value myself, to put pressure on the child to "squeeze" him out of fear, guilt and duty? I think the answer is obvious.

And gratitude for life... She always is in those families where the parents have brought a child into the world deliberately, and understood from the start that came into the world a free man, which they can help to develop and then he will live his life and make his choice.

Parents, meanwhile, will live his. Where there is no pressure, strict requirements, intimidation and manipulation, children naturally Express their gratitude for the gift of life. Because I want to. Like the parents really wanted to help them grow. For the sake of the children, not for their expectations.

"We've invested in you, we spend time with you!..."If we talk about what the baby was fed, clothed, taught, treated and entertained – so everything just had to. A parent bringing a child into the world, takes on the absolute responsibility for the life and safety of the child. And so it is just what everyone needs child. At least the "most necessary for development and survival". Before reaching the age of majority. And it's even spelled out in our legislation. If parents really love a child – all this is done naturally as a matter of course. However, very often parents put it in front of their children already growing up as a feat. Why? Yes, because in the process of raising a child parents imposed on themselves limitations. Which or didn't know in advance (again the same factor, unconscious relationship to the procreation), or believed that those restrictions – what then must be "paid back" to the same limitations of children in favor of the parents.

But such a contract is a contract blindly. Because the child sometimes doesn't even know about any restrictions. It seems that everything is done for him out of love and voluntarily.And then when it is put before the fact of the need to "pay the bills", the love of parents begins to fade.

What child is often difficult to admit, and all this is accompanied by a latent sense of guilt and attempts to summon up the emotional attitude of parents that get worse and worse, because forced love is hard. And in the end creates a sense that actually the relationship with parents – not a love relationship, and the relationship of the debt. Neither the parent nor the child do not receive them, welcome them both heat and gradually become disillusioned in relationships. But continue a policy of mutual manipulation either to the end or until one of them did not begin in earnest to understand the psychological underpinnings of what is happening.

Long-term practice shows that there are a lot of insecure people who are constantly criticized, criticized, and compared in someone's favor, but never showed how how. Or trying to teach, constantly humiliated. And people often came out to meet the big world from a parent family with feelings of fear, inferiority, and the feeling that everything is better, worthier and more talented than him.

But the practice shows something else: when the child was given a chance to learn, supported in his errors, and helped to fix them and rethink, helping to make some steps in the big world, taking into account the desires and choices of the child (even if he seemed wrong parents) – then these children grow up with a natural sense of gratitude and responsibility. And if the parents were not forgetting about themselves, parents have been feeling a little "spent on child life," and therefore nothing to claim.

Latent grudge against your child for something that he did not "pay the costs" arises only where the investment of time and effort in the child was not quite voluntary.

But parents themselves should think: maybe, something I had to think about myself? Or not too late now to think? Not to do any of their own offspring an eternal debtor. Moreover, it may not always return the parent of the time the parent decided not to spend on themselves. Of course, in other periods do all the time is spent on children, spouses leaving not much time at each other. But the result of this action depends on the mood of the spouses themselves. If the time was spent voluntarily, then the dividend already received creative impulses, interest, enthusiasm, joy, excitement associated with the achievements and development of children. Perhaps such parents develop themselves together with their children. And in the end they do not have resentment, "I spent this much time on you, and you...!"

If in the process of growth of the child the parent has not been much joy and pleasure from spending time with him, the parent unconsciously resents a child for "taken away" time. But itself the parent did not recognize that in fact would like to spend it on something else. And as compensation for the offense wants the baby to be something repay. And there is this figure of speech.

But, unfortunately, there is again an unequal position: the parent himself took this step, having children, the child faced with the fact that now he has to spend so much time to parent as they want the latter. If the parent had a choice, the child it is not. At least as long as the child is under the pressure of authority and feels properly fulfill every whim of the parents.


"I know it better, I wish you good — justify my expectations!"

Strange not to have expectations. Naturally, we expect something from your partner, friends, children. But in the relations of the times when you have these expectations are correct. And often for some reason in the relations with children are least likely to meet the expectations of correction and compromise, although with marital people at least have if not try to understand, at least to consider the interests of the spouse.

But the children are often different attitude – "you should" (to live by certain principles, to choose such a profession, to get married, to please us, their grandchildren, to achieve financial well-being, etc. etc.) I'm not talking about those moments that parents have to demand from the child to keep him safe is to wear a hat in cold weather or not to run on the roadway.

I say that does not threaten the safety of the child and may be his free choice – what to do, how to spend free time, what Hobbies to have, with whom to meet, when to marry etc. But the habit of demanding to wear a hat in cold weather fades into a requirement to choose the profession of a lawyer, "because by singing you'll never make bread". This is not a security requirement. And often it extends to a child who either is on the threshold of 18 years or even crossed it. And the requirement extends so as if the child is 5 years old.

If you think about it, even at 5 years the child has and should have a choice – eat cereal, or cheese, to put on a green sweater or white, go for a walk in the Park or the Playground to ride the swings or the carousel. But the parents neglect this opportunity. They are often easier and faster to pull on baby's first sweater than to ask him what he wants (this takes only a few seconds!) And we ended up in a huge amount of people who do not know how to make choices that are in panic afraid of mistakes, that all life depend on the "circumstances" of a different sort, to shift the responsibility on anyone for his life... Because of them there was always someone who said "do this" or "you should" or "you didn't have to know anything about life, and I..."

It's not true. The child may know a major thing about himself – what he wants. Yes, parents sometimes have to (and should) limit its volition where it intersects with the safety requirements. But we're basically talking about almost adult children who know that Smoking is harmful, and does not stand in the cold to walk around without a hat. They already know a lot and can gain their own experience, based on its present "want". However, at the moment they grow older they get more than criticism and disapproval. Why? Yes, because finally becomes clear – they grew up not the way I want them to be parents.

But they don't aim to achieve something. They demand it from children. Because they themselves are afraid to live, afraid of their desires, mistakes, that will look stupid and will be the subject of ridicule. The result becomes an escape from life and transferring their desires on children. Because children-you can then still criticize for the failure, and by staying "perfect" and still "know what's best."

There are a number of parents who actually achieved something took place, but no less tough call and criticize their children. The argument they often like, "I can and you should – you have someone who you can learn." But here's what I noticed watching these "perfect parents" — they are often inwardly very unhappy. Though they "have everything", they even sometimes don't understand where this emotional void. Often it is the inability to consciously experience feelings and Express them often – from the lack of heat from the inner fear and the constant distrust of the world, the feeling of struggle and this lack of support.

And social achievements can be present, of course. But think about it: whether people are happy someone harshly criticize and demand something? If the person to impose life strategy, if he himself is comfortable in his choice, and this choice is made consciously? If he made it himself? Here suggests a simple conclusion: if the parent made the choice himself, he will perfectly understand the value of their errors and their need. And just as clearly will understand that the experience of one person is not possible fully to project to the other. Because they are different people. And there is no universal life strategy. So, it is easy to give the child the right to choose the error and your own experience.

But if a person chose not himself, and lived by the principle "should", "should", "accepted", and the child it will broadcast the same. Is there an underlying motive. If the parent himself was afraid of condemnation from society, family and environment, that all of his accents are shifted to the same contingent of people to perceive his children. And needs of the child literally melt in front of this onslaught of fear: "for the child's behavior will condemn me parent!" And he will be "tainted", for example, the fact that his son is gay and daughter at the age of 30 still not married, or who a child doesn't go to 9 for work, and lives a creative and free life, and not die of starvation (oddly enough).

Then there are more subtle motives. If life strategy is chosen not out of love and real desire, but out of fear, and something person inside the crushed, not implemented – that could be a factor of envy. Unconsciously often. But the essence remains the same. For instance, a father wanted in his youth to travel the country by hitchhiking, but becoming a victim of manipulation of their parents, did not dare to do what you want, and went to the factory to work.

From the point of view of public opinion – the right choice. But the pain on remains undone. Because then family, children, status – and it's too late to hitchhike. But the desire remained youthful dream. And when own son collects backpack and talks about wanting to go – it is unconscious jealousy drives his father to put him on a rigid obstacle. History or repeated detail, or the son finds the strength to leave. And then the relationship is permanently broken, what can the not all children.

Parents, outraged by the behavior of their children wonder why the children "is so unlike them." But actually here they prevaricate. Rarely in the family the child grows up with very different orientations. So, too, sometimes, but much less frequently. The same problems, flaws, complexes, difficulties carrying from generation to generation. Just parents often do not want to admit that they see children their own shortcomings and defects. I want to be better and know better. Though declared the opposite: "the children surpassed the parents."

"Parent – a special person, he will never abandon you and will not betray".Of course, special. But not the fact that he is not capable of betrayal. And the fact that his program, shortcomings and complexes we carry. And it was he who put in us our strengths and weaknesses, suppressed or develop our talents, actualized character, formed beliefs, and scripts of life. First of all, parents – those whose reflection we are, the Luggage and the material from which we cut your life. And so, that's all. But the ability "not to quit and not to betray" is most often a choice of the parent. Which is not always unambiguous.

I often hear from their customers such stories: "I was bullied in school, but I didn't have anyone," "I first fell in love unrequited, but me parents just laughed", "I got fired from my first job, but dad said I blame myself", "I felt ugly and was waiting for help, but mother said with such an appearance I am never normally not marry." Can continue indefinitely.

To judge whether it can be considered a betrayal – is not within the competence of the psychologist. But you can say that parents have not had children the support they were hoping for. And his criticism and disdain only intensified the negative feelings of the children. Meanwhile, sometimes others (teachers, friends, some just people from outside) provided this support. I do not want to say that domestic person – above all enemies (though Jesus in the gospel are not afraid to say so, but I'm not a theologian, and I will not argue that Christ had invested in those words).

I just want to say that parents are waiting for this support first. And then from all the others. And often do not get it from their parents. It is a fact that we have to admit, if I was in your family. And to look soberly at things – if you are faced with scorn, humiliation and reluctance to once again say a kind word – it's not called "special relationship". It is in fact not different from relationships of any other people who may laugh at you, humiliate or reject. We should not live in captivity of this illusion: if you do not have supported since childhood is likely to continue relevant to you will be the same. Unless you make a conscious effort to build some other forms of communication with parents. But there's a caveat.

Eifthe parents have taught the child that they really support him – and he is likely to do the same thing naturally. And if you are not accustomed to seek support for themselves is not very logical. If the child wants — can he, by their own free will to invest efforts to inform parents of the possibility of some other relationship to each other. And do not want — it has the full right to refuse support, if he had it from my parents. And again this is the harsh truth.

Remember the story of the client who is married (in her confession, hoping to quickly "escape" from parents), marriage, as often happens in such cases, did not happen. A girl with a child I ask the parents if you can live with them until she had served the rest of the decree and find a job.

Parents told her "of course you're our daughter, our blood." And then the girl's life turned into hell. Because every day she was reminded how she is a loser, reproached the fact that help in caring for the child (although she never asked for and did myself), put on that tired screaming baby (which every day became more and more restless). As soon as the opportunity arose to go to work, the girl immediately went from parents to a rented house, hired a nanny and a year and a half took me therapy. The first six months, almost every sessii she cried, repeating that he does not feel the love of parents and feels enormous guilt...

And work only with that guilt took six months. A year – to not be dependent on the views of parents, something to prove to them, to try to meet their expectations and stop trying to force yourself to love them and to help her stop feeling like the last loser, and somehow to see the virtues and strengths. Can we call all this parental love and acts out of good intentions? The path is decided by the readers.

Often parents use this argument: "if I don't tell him/her it will be worse, if you say to strangers". What would be terrible if I say strangers? Maybe they'll do it more correctly, though, because they are social conventions? Or they did not see what I see the parents?

Because the parents forget their opinion about the child – their personal opinion, not objective truth, for which they often try to pass this opinion. And the child, because of emotional dependence on the parent, this "truth" seems to be huge significant. And sometimes I think: better to have it said of others, because their opinion is not gonna hurt hurt so much and not would be accepted so unconditionally.

"To take offense at parents is a sin!"You always want to ask "what will happen"? While, however, we are not talking about the celestial square, and even of the fact that the deification of parents. Objectively, parents are our "primary gods", they have the power to punish and pardon, to give warmth and support, to help, to care or be angry and to limit everything.

The deity parents can not be good or evil by far. For a child it always contains elements of good, because the child has shelter, food, clothing and at least a minimal development opportunities just because he has parents (or the people that replace them – and still the child needs the parent deity). But the amazing paradox: children grow up, and still for many parents continue to remain gods. And it is even sometimes not recognized. Although, in theory, a grown man can and must choose their gods (or even without them). And, it would seem, choose, Christ or Allah, Buddha or the Principle of Tao, science or any other belief system. But parents remain for many much more powerful gods.

What is behind this? Fear. Not conscious, not intelligent, primal fear. And not of the child, and especially a parent. Remember the story of Saturn and Jupiter. Saturn devoured his children because he was afraid that one of them will take the throne and deprived of his power over the world. And in the end one of them, very prompt and lucky Jupiter still managed to survive, and what did he do? Of course, overthrew his father and took the throne.

It is this kind of anxiety and makes parents to raise their children in fear – so they overthrew them, had not deprived them of power (importance, attractiveness, not devalued them achieve their even greater achievements would not have been able to afford what my parents wanted to try but were afraid....) The essence of about one. "You will be bigger and better than me, and that would destroy me, and in my life, it would not make sense". This is a very deep motive often guided by unconscious impulses parents continue to be for kids gods.

What are the consequences of toppling from the pedestal of the parents? Nothing. No terrible punishment for it is not provided. Moreover, if you put parents down on earth, you will do them a good deed.How?

One digression. It may seem to many that in this article I speak "lawyer" growing up and grown-up children (and more often turn to them because most often they're my customers), and their parents "attorney". So the answer to the question "how" I want to balance the situation, because in fact, understand the motives and the other.

If you will take parents from the pedestal, you will see that they are just ordinary people. With their follies, frailties, flaws, errors that they are not perfect and never can become them. And then you will cease to demand from them that they were like God – forgiving, loving, always loyal, kind and tolerant. Your parents aren't gods. And if you are willing to take their right not to be due, not to meet expectations does not fulfill the requirements, resist manipulation, then give parents the right to be who they are and what they were.

Yes, it would be good if they always gave you support. And criticized on every occasion. And would not compare with others. It would be good. But they shouldn't. They had you only in terms of security and livelihood, and did it as best they could, and loved as best they could. Do not ask them in response of forgiveness and understanding. Don't require that they suddenly got rid of biosocial reflexes. Don't require that in a matter of days they opened the breadth of thinking. If you take their freedom – give them their freedom to be so – wrong, demanding, despotic....

The formula for freedom is simple. They have the right to want. You have the right to refuse. They have the right to be offended and respond to you as anyone. And you have the right to respond to their reaction as they see fit, or not respond at all. And it doesn't mean all-out war. The issue of separation conflicts are inevitable. But if you will take parents off the pedestal and begin to understand human motives, then you will be able to deal with them, and their grievances, rather than trying to prove to my parents that they were wrong. Yes, you have the right to take offense on parents. But this is your story, and deal with her for you personally.


The situation in the Soviet and post-Soviet society was clear. I would describe it as a "heritage society".The point is that the person who did not continue the race is an inferior person, is not held. Because many children was seen as a kind of necessity, but mindfulness in these acts of procreation was sometimes extremely small. And the parent who does not think about why he child, in the end, just mindlessly repeating the model parents: "at first we parents use and require something from us, and then we demand from children and use them — so we live and all that's right." And because parents rarely asked themselves the question what they really want. And because so much did not get in life. And then fear, envy, and jealousy towards their children.

Accept it the way it is. If you are reading this article, you have exactly have a choice in what model to live. And maybe if you're an adult child, it is you, having dealt with their grievances of parents, honestly recognizing these injuries, having worked for them, can later teach their own parents the unconditional acceptance and sincere love. And if not – you can let go and nothing more to demand.

If you are a parent, weary of conflict with children, and feel disrespected by them, then try to understand what the child's behavior tells you about his own shortcomings. You can still compensate for – to begin to fulfill their desires, to live for yourself, and learn to consult with children as adults, respect their choices, and then they will tell you the sincere warmth and understanding.

Everyone, whether parent or child, can admit a simple thing: the other person is another person. And regardless of age, everyone has their own path, their choice and their right to make mistakes. And as adults, we can all just volunteer to give something to each other. And the fact that this insincerely and under duress – is it a genuine gift of love?

Fritz Perls invented this formula, which is often called the "prayer of gestaltist":

"I'm me and you're You. I mind my own business, and You, their. I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in order to fit my. If we met and hit it off — that's fine. If not, you have nothing to help."

This applies to parents and children equally. published

Author: Anton Nesvitski.S. And remember, just changing your mind - together we change the world! ©



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