A Problem with Today’s Parenting

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There was an interesting article in The Atlantic, entitled “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy: Why the obsession with our kids’ happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods. A therapist and mother reports.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/how-to-land-your-kid-in-therapy/8555/

The article is about the way many parents focus much of their energy on being there for their children, but their children end up feeling lost and empty.

One of the issues I’ve written about extensively is that half of good parenting is being there for our children, and the other half is being there for ourselves. This article says nothing about parents becoming loving role models of personal responsibility for filling their own emptiness. In fact, these parents, who are obsessed with their kids’ happiness, are likely addicted to filling themselves up through their children – not a healthy situation.

This article validates what Inner Bonding is all about – learning how to take responsibility for your own feelings. The problem with these lost adults is that their parents always took responsibility for them, rather than role-modeling how to fill themselves up.

Feeling lost and empty is the result of a lack of love. As the cartoon drawing shows, these kids received an abundance of love from their parents. But they never learned how to fill themselves with love through a personal source of spiritual guidance. They never learned how to access their own higher self to guide them in what is loving to themselves, so they end up feeling lost.

I was just like these parents for many of the years that my children were growing up. Because my parents were never emotionally there for me with love, understanding, compassion and caring, I vowed to give that to my children. And I did. The problem was that I was not giving it to myself, so I was not teaching my children to give it to themselves. Instead, I was teaching them that someone else was responsible for making them happy.

Fortunately, we created Inner Bonding while my children were adolescents, so they got some of the role-modeling before leaving home. It was not an easy transition for me or for them, to go from caretaking them – taking responsibility for their feelings – to taking responsibility for my feelings. But it was one the best things I ever did for my children.

Are you at least as focused on being there for your own feelings as you are on being there for your children’s feelings? If not, are you willing to learn how to take responsibility for your feelings so that your children learn how to take responsibility for theirs? Truly, this is one of the best gifts you can give to your children.

Far too many of the people I work with say the exact same thing that is in the cartoon: “I LOVE my parents. I’ve had a GREAT childhood! I’ve got a GOOD job! So why do I feel so LOST?” They are very confused about this.

The first thing I ask them is, “How did your parents treat themselves?” The response might be something like, “My mother put herself aside for my father, taking care of his every need. My father worked hard and came home and watched TV all evening. My father was lost without my mother and died six months after my mother died of breast cancer,” or, “My mother was addicted to food and my father was addicted to beer.”

“Did you ever see either of them taking responsibility for their own feelings?” I ask.

“No.”

This is the issue. If you don’t want your children to grow up feeling lost, empty, turning to addictions and having relationship problems, then do your own inner work and become a role model of personal responsibility for your own joy.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to discover loving and joyful parenting? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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