Do You Have The Courage to Be a Loving Parent?

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Most of us really don’t like it when someone is angry with us. We don’t like it when someone goes into resistance to helping us when we need help, instead of caring about us. We don’t like it when someone withdraws from us, disconnecting from us and shutting us out. We don’t like it when people make demands on us and do not respect our right or need to say no. Many of us will do almost anything to avoid the soul loneliness and heartache we feel when people treat us in angry, resistant, demanding and uncaring ways.

It takes great courage to stay loving to yourself and others when faced with others’ angry and closed behavior. It especially takes courage when the people you are dealing with are your own children. Yet, unless you have the courage to come up against your children’s anger, resistance and withdrawal, you may give yourself up and not take care of yourself, to avoid their uncaring reactions. The more you deny your own truth and your own needs and feelings, the more your children will disrespect and discount you.

Your children may become a mirror of your own behavior – discounting you when you discount yourself, disrespecting you when you disrespect yourself. The more you give yourself up to avoid your children’s unloving behavior toward you, the more you become objectified as the all-giving and loving parent, who doesn’t need anything for yourself. When you do this, you are role modeling being a caretaker.

On the other hand, it is also unloving to yourself and your children to expect your children to take responsibility for your wellbeing. It is unloving to demand that your children give themselves up to prove their love for you or to pacify your fears. It is unloving to demand that they be the way you want them to be, rather than who they are. It is unloving to set limits that serve to make you feel safe as a parent, rather than limits that support their health, safety and wellbeing. When you behave in this way, you are role modeling being a taker.

The challenge of good parenting is to find the balance between being there for your children and being there for yourself, as well as the balance between freedom and responsibility – to be, and to role-model, taking personal responsibility for yourself, rather than being a taker or a caretaker.

Your decisions need to be based on what is in the highest good of your children AND yourself. If your child wants something that is not in your highest good to give, then it is not loving to give it. If you want something for or from your children that is not in their highest good, then it is not loving for you to expect it. It is loving to support your children’s freedom to choose what they want and to be themselves, as long as it isn’t harmful to them and as long as it doesn’t mean giving yourself up. Your children may not learn responsible behavior toward others when you discount your own needs and feelings to support what they want. Your own freedom to choose what you want, and to be yourself, should be just as important to you as supporting your children’s freedom and desires.

On the other hand, if you always put your needs before your children’s, you are behaving in a self-centered, narcissistic way, which limits your children’s freedom. You are training your children to be caretakers, to give themselves up for others’ needs and not consider their own.

Once again, the challenge of loving parenting is to role-model behavior that is personally responsible, rather than being a taker or caretaker. This is your best chance for bringing up personally responsible children. However, you need to remember that you cannot do everything “right” as a parent, that your children are on their own path, their own soul’s journey. They will make their own choices to be loving or unloving, responsible or irresponsible. You can influence their choices by being loving to yourself and them, but you can’t control them. They have free will, just as you do, to choose who they want to be each moment of their lives. All you can do is the very best you can to role model loving, personally responsible behavior – behavior that supports your own and your children’s highest good.

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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, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding course: and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone and Skype 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 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 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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