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This is a new topic detailing how your attachments affect your life and how your attachments affect the life of your children and what they accept as being the “right way to be” as they get older, bringing this disposition into their relationships. The engaging of the sperm and the egg is an “attaching process.” The semen is very sticky. You were born through the process of Attaching. It is through Attaching that you were formed into living, breathing human beings. That Attaching Process continued as you were attached to your mothers through the umbilical cord. After that cord was severed, your attachment to your mothers continued as she was, in your minds, God.
It is a natural process to look at your origins for your strength, guidance, directions, and what your accepted standards are going to be. The healthy mother, knowing this, will give the best that she has, keeping the attributes of God in mind. Automatically she will be the source of compassion, love, empathy, provision, and protection (God’s Attributes). Her intention is to pass on God’s qualities and characteristics to the infant. She does this by first demonstrating the characteristics in her own life, and second, informing the child where these characteristics originate. This is an example of healthy attachments and how the great majority of human beings started their life on this earth. If you have in your mind to only attach your ‘true self’ to God, you can then have a good standard of your earthly associations.
Let’s look at the relationship of mother and child. After the child is separated physically from the mother, there still exists a very strong attachment. As the child develops, the healthy mother guides and instructs the child to start operating on their own. The mother is giving the child responsibilities such as communicating clearly and later cleaning after themselves. The child is learning step by step how to be independent of the mother, to start thinking for themselves, and later (much later) accepting to be the co-creator of their lives. The healthy mother doesn’t stop this process. On the contrary, she wants to promote this process of independence. The mother/father is only temporarily there to:
- Model correct behavior
- Establish high standards of excellence
- Empower the child
- Encourage spiritual development
- Promote independence (on top of the basic needs).
During this process, the mother/father is reflecting God’s characteristics and instilling them into the child. This is a healthy attachment of the mother to the child as she is the first teacher.
Here is a poem by Kahlil Gibran from his book The Prophet for those mothers (and sometimes Fathers) who insist that their child belongs solely to them and attaches themselves in unhealthy co-dependent ways that stifle the child’s ability to stand up on their own:
Your children are not your children,
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself,
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts,
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams,
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth,
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might, that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves the bow that is stable.”
Co-dependency is another form of unhealthy attachments. The original concept of co-dependency was developed to acknowledge the responses and behaviors people develop from living with an alcoholic or substance abuser. Co-dependents are dependent on someone else’s problems, hence the name “co”-dependent, as in “co”operating, or “co”nnected. Co-dependents have that tendency to get involved in relationships with people who are unreliable, emotionally unavailable and needy. I have to talk about co-dependency between parent and child.
When there are emotional voids the affected person tries to fill those voids consciously or they happen unconsciously. For example, you have a mother who has rather cool relationship with her husband. He works 2 jobs, comes home tired every night and is not available emotionally for his wife. They both have 2 boys and 1 girl. The one boy has a special needs condition and needs more attention as his nervous behavior demands more attention. The mother puts her emotional attention into this child, while neglecting the needs of the other two children. The nervous child loves the attention and acts out intentionally to get more attention. Now a co-dependency bond has begun. This well-intentioned mother, to fill her own emotional need for attention not given to her by her husband, is now getting some of her emotional needs met by this special connection with her son. She is now dependent on his special need condition in order to feel needed. She now is over-protective of him and not too eager to really help his condition. If he didn’t have his special need anymore, she wouldn’t get attention for love that she craves, so she misses some of his doctor appointments. When teachers say that her son needs counseling sessions, she says, “My son is fine and nothing is wrong with him.”
Now what about the state of her other two children? What are they thinking? The girl is thinking that it is alright to play favorites even though she feels hurt behind her mother’s behaviors. This gets buried in her subconscious and WILL affect her relationships later in life. The other son’s neglect turns into a kind of depression as he feels his mother doesn’t care about his feelings and is not interested in his world, his dreams, aspirations and perspectives. A “nobody cares” idea starts to be ingrained into his subconscious. These are real possibilities when there is co-dependency between parent and child.
Remember, whatever the parents exhibit becomes acceptable in the child’s mind, even though they don’t like it. It may be:
- Drug use
– Abuse (emotionally and physically)
- Disrespect of self and others
- General Disobedience
- Lacking of family values
- Non-supportive behaviors, and of course
On one level, the child will not like certain negative behaviors such as fighting and other forms of abuse, but on the subconscious level, the mind is recording what is acceptable and is stored for future use.
“Co-dependence is an emotional defense system that is set up to protect the wounded inner child within us from the shame of being exposed as unlovable and unworthy; as stupid and weak; as a loser and failure; as whatever it was that we got the message was the worst thing to be. We were taught to evaluate whether we had worth in comparison to others.” – Robert Burney. The mother, in this case, had an idealist image of how her marriage was going to be for her; a loving husband working well enough to make her a stay-at-home wife and mother; having the best relationship, raising the children together and having the most loving family for the world to see. Well, it unfortunately didn’t turn out that way for the young mother.
This mother now feels vulnerable to exposure as unlovable and unworthy. Her idealistic world is starting to crumble. She creates a defense against this exposure by being harshly judgmental of the other children because that is easier than looking at her own internal deficits. Being right was very important for her and the way that she found worth. You can imagine how that made the other children feel. The mother sees the “needy child” as being “her way out” emotionally. She can feel lovable, worthy and needed liked she imagined even though it is through the bonding of her and her son instead of her and her husband. This is co-dependency.
Isn’t it time to go from feeling frustrated, lost, overwhelmed and the feeling of failure as a Parent, to feeling confident, calm, relieved and successful?
Together we can transform your children from being angry, bullying, moody or too quiet, to happy, compassionate, loving children. YES, and feel confident that you are using new Compassionate Parenting skills as opposed to how you were raised.
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