Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls.
- Kahlil Gibran
Good grief, parenting can be difficult! There is a saying: “Perfect parents DO exist. They just don’t have children yet.” It can feel like there are a million voices out there on each step a parent takes in caring for children. Your levels of “success” in taking the right steps in parenting is on full display through your child’s behavior. Parenting feels wonderful when things are going well and your child is shining in the world. Parenting feels overwhelming and shameful when your child is demonstrating challenging and oppositional behavior. Parenting can feel hopeless when your child, teenager, or young adult is struggling with a mental illness like depression, anxiety, ODD, bipolar, borderline traits, or any number of mood and personality disorders.
Parenting has a way of giving adults the opportunity to “grow up again” alongside of the child. It is common for a parent’s own “stuff” to come up at various stages of your child’s development. Maybe it is specific memories from your own upbringing. Perhaps your child is pushing buttons that you did not even know you had. The parenting journey is deeply personal. It is filled with tender and precious moments. Some of the most challenging times lead to the most significant growth…in the child, in the parent and in the family.
Parents often find that a therapist with extensive training and experience in the area of parenting, families and children can offer meaningful assistance that leads to powerful changes in their parenting approach AND in their child’s behavior. It often only takes a few sessions. Don’t endure this alone. Parenting is HARD. It is in every way possible BRUTIFUL…beautiful and brutal. Get some help. Be understood. Gain some perspective. Learn parenting skills and methods that WORK.
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