As a parent, we do our best to love our children despite their faults, real and imagined. It is what makes us parents and oddly enough, grown-ups.
But sometimes, we over love our children, mainly when something traumatic happens to them that we either didn’t catch or couldn’t control. This doesn’t make us bad parents, but at what point do we stop? Do we over love our children forever, emotionally crippling them for the rest of their days, just to ease our conscience? What does this do to our other children? When we over love one, are we under loving the others?
I have yet to experience this firsthand, and I honestly hope I never do. Unfortunately I have seen what this can do to children, siblings, adults, and it saddens and angers me.
Coddling a child is one thing, but once that child reaches their teen years, its time to ease up off the over love to make sure they grow into mature young adults and then functioning adults. There is nothing worse than an adult who fully expects to STILL be coddled by their parents and they are sitting st the table with 40. I want to smack the parents with reality for STILL continuing this behavior and the adult (you know the one who never grew up, just got older?) for STILL expecting to be treated as a child. We do our children a disservice when we allow this type of relationship to occur. It wasn’t healthy then and it sure as hell isn’t healthy now.
And what about the kid who was left to pick up the emotional slack? How exactly is this child supposed to function ‘normally’ in life when all they know is how to be second fiddle to their emotionally crippled sibling? This child has had to carry the weight of not being special enough, good enough, right enough, etc. in the eyes of parents who only see the scarred child. This isn’t healthy either.
When families are dealt unfortunate blows that affect their children, the first thing to be done after dealing with the issue itself is therapy. For EVERYONE. It isn’t taboo and from what I have seen, it is desperately needed. Each person is affected by the situation and needs to be able to vent it out. And while loving does help, it does not fix that emotionally scarring that has occurred, not does it absolve you from your self inflicted guilt wounds.
So do you and your kids a favor – get them the help they need. Stop over and under loving your kids. I promise they will be better for it.