Our children are teachers in tiny bodies. These are master teachers who’ve come to show us and teach us the things that we need to heal in order to grow and to evolve. Through many generations, we have forgotten this and have put the responsibility of our pain onto our children and have taken for granted the great gift they represent.
Parenting is about listening to you yourself. It’s about knowing deep in your heart that what you are doing is right for your child and no one else.
Taking notice of our behavior, of our reactions to your children’s behaviors, is where every parent should start. And know that this never ends, no matter how old your child is, each stage of their growth is also a growing stage for you.
It is our responsibility to heal our childhood wounds, not to project our unsatisfied needs, traumas, and emotional distress on them.
It all boils down to the following questions- who am I doing this for? Who am I saying this to? And does this bother me because it’s wrong or because my child shows me the unhealed parts of me I don’t wish to accept?
There are many different ways in which a parent can put the responsibility of their unhealed childhood onto their children. Here are a few that I’ve seen and heard often. Many times parents do not even realize what they are doing until they ask themselves the questions above.
Many parents place the blame for their emotional pain on their children. Often you can hear them say how a child makes them feel a certain way. “I am angry because my daughter does not listen to me”, “I am angry because my daughter has no respect for me”. But if we just take a moment to really look within, our children are just showing us what we lack, where we need to heal, and most importantly they are communicating what they need us to be for them. They need us to heal that part of us that gets triggered, so they don’t have to take responsibility for healing our wounds when they grow up.
No one can make you feel any type of way unless you have given them the power to do so. In other words, a child should be able to have his or her owns feelings and emotions without affecting your emotional state. When you give your child full power over how you feel, you are showing them that there is no authority, which in turn makes them take responsibility for your feelings.
Identifying when something triggers you is key. Learning about the things that bother you can help you learn about yourself and dig in to find out when or where this began so it can be healed. This is the beautiful part of healing, the one where we can see our children with compassion and love without making them responsible for our reactions to their natural behaviors. We can see them for who they are and not the wounds that we carry.
Triggering is difficult, it is something that activates anger, anxiety, and sadness, showing us the hidden parts of us that we do not want to see, feel or accept. And more often than not it is a lot easier to blame someone else for those feelings than to honor them as our own.
Putting my feelings on my child’s plate
Most of the time when we are not standing in our own loving space where we see our children from an outside perspective we end up putting our responsibility of growth, adventure, learning, creation, and healing onto our children. Sometimes we do things we believe they would like, but the question is, is it that my child would like it or that I would like it? You see, by identifying this simple question we can take away the responsibility that we’ve put on our child to live and experience something for us and instead we take back what belongs to us, allowing for the moment to be true in its nature and for that child to have his or her own authentic experience.
Living life through children happens in many homes. Where a parent or both may push their children to behave or act in a certain way based on their own unresolved feelings. Consciously or subconsciously leaning and relying on their children as their own emotional support.
They build mini versions of the person they wish they were and rob their children of the possibility to be their own authentic self.
Owning your desires, feelings, and behaviors is the way to put back on your plate what belongs to you. It is hard to accept and can be painful because no one wants to hear that they have put on their emotional healing on their children. No one wants to hear that they have been using their children as an escape from their own pain. But it’s not about putting blame or seeking punishment, it’s about recognizing patterns and behaviors so that they can be changed and shifted.
The most powerful form of teaching responsibility to a child is to show them that you are open and willing to be vulnerable and accept your mistakes. Many children today lack Self-responsibility because it is something that many parents today do not mirror at home.
Comparing children with another parent
On another hand, I’ve heard and seen parents who compare their children to their other parent in a negative way. Our spouses or partners are our biggest mirror, the thing about them that bothers us most is the thing we need to heal the most within ourselves. They are our most direct mirror.
Everyone’s perception of a person is only based on what is reflecting from their own emotional state.
Comparing your children to their parent in a negative way not only puts the responsibility of the other parent’s behavior but also brings judgment. When we compare children to anyone we are telling them that is who they are and soon they begin to behave the way you are describing them to be and adopt that behavior as part of their identity. Worse thing is they adopt it from a place of shame, judgment, and resentment creating feelings of unworthiness and anxiety towards themselves.
Children will mirror the behaviors they see. More than likely both parents have the same behavior but expressed in different manners, but nonetheless still boils down to the same rooted issue. Energy seeks same energy, and since our partners are our biggest mirror what they vibrate you vibrate too. So putting the responsibility of negative behavior on a child and casting judgment upon them, only creates negative emotions and feelings on the child and leaves you not addressing the root issue within yourself that is being shown to you through your partner’s behavior.
Furthermore, you are taking away the ability for the child to have his or her own identity. And although for the purpose of this article we are speaking of parenting. The same goes for comparing them with other children such as siblings, family members or friends. Every child is entitled to their own identity; they are their own beings and should not be compared to anyone because everyone is unique in their own way. If their behaviors remind you of someone, it is your responsibility to find out why and what about it hurts you.
I am doing this for my child
Another popular one I’ve seen is when parents say that they are healing for their children and not for themselves. From experience I can tell you that my mother always said everything she did, she did for my brother and me. She loves spending money, and when she knew she shouldn’t be she would say “I am doing this for my children so they can have what I never did”. But the reality is that we didn’t know what having or not having was when we were little, she wanted to have things because she didn’t have them as a child and in her own way she was doing it for us in hopes it would heal her.
I’ve heard parents say, I let my child do this because I was never able to when I was a child. Here is the truth, that was your story, that was your experience in the time and place you came to this earth, it is not your child’s responsibility to heal the traumas that created your present nor to use them as an excuse to do so.
When we say these things, what we are really telling our children is that it is their job to enjoy or appreciate these things for you because you never had it. Doing something for your children should not have a price they have to pay. Using this type of approach also causes parents to live their lives through their children robbing them of their own experiences and authenticity.
To take it even further, some parents get really upset if their children do not appreciate what they have done or given them. They take this personal and almost as an insult which results in shaming and judging their children.
This is because the act wasn’t done from a place of love, it was done in connection to their own unresolved feelings and get upset that their child didn’t heal that for them. Now that is a hard true many parents are not willing to accept, however, it is one that once accepted can lead to better relationships with your children and a better understanding of who they truly are and not who you want them or wish they would be.
Take your power back
All of these things are examples of putting the responsibility of your healing on your children. Everyone does it because everyone has things they’ve experienced, it is part of our human evolution. Identifying them and correcting is what makes the difference and what empowers you to be the better parent.
As I mentioned in the beginning, our children are our teachers, they show us our triggers, the things we need to heal, and the parts of us we are not willing to accept as our truth. Just know that when they see that we are capable of healing, learning, willing to change for the better, then they are also more than willing to do the same. They are willing to accept responsibility in the future, they are willing to see life as a big lesson that they can use for growth, and most importantly the relationship they are able to establish with you as their parent will determine the type of relationship they will have in the future with their children and everyone they come across. That is one of love, respect, and healthy boundaries.
It is up to you to take back your responsibility for your unresolved traumas, which is one of the many lessons our children are here to teach. Responsibility is not taught by telling them to clean their room and pick up after themselves. Is to show them that you are willing to accept and take the ownership of your own issues and heal them for you, because you matter, because you are your own sovereign being capable and willing to do so- that is what you show them so they too can mirror that.
If you do not know how to do this, you can try meditating, finding a life coach, or someone who can guide you into looking within to find the answers. knowing and not doing is the same thing as doing nothing at all.
I am a Theta Healing Practitioner focusing on family healing, I can support you through your journey and your willingness to grow through one on one sessions. For more information, you can visit my website at www.mygrowingroots.com or our social media FB or IG