Daily Ground – – -February 10
Being an unselfish parent means letting our children suffer. It is often worse for us than for them.
I wish I had been meditating and practicing mindfulness when my children were young or even before I had children. In counseling parents and in seeing my own drives to control and keep my kids comfortable, I see how much of my parenting was about making me comfortable.
I was pretty laid back with some things – like germs. But I was so full of guilt and fear about either not being with them enough or about them being with people I didn’t know. Most of this came from my own old fears of childhood. I would rush home from grad school not because my kids needed me but because I needed them. I was using them to fill some void in me. This was all dressed up in something that looked like good parenting.
As I’m ready to launch my oldest to college, I see so clearly now that my children are individual human beings. That aren’t successful because of me. I am not beaming because of their accomplishments – they are! What kind of parents have we become that we mold our kids to be something because it makes us comfortable.
The most important thing you can teach your child is how to sit still and be uncomfortable. But how many of us jumped and danced and did anything so they would be comforted. When a child learns to be uncomfortable, only then can she bear life. They will then be able to handle life on life’s terms without numbing with food, or drink, or drugs, or self-mutilation. They will be free.