I cannot stress this enough. Parents are NOT to “blame.”
We are all just human and perfectly imperfect. We will make mistakes not because we’re bad people or bad parents but because we don’t even teach how to be a parent. How could anyone expect to not make mistakes when none of us have taken a single class. Therefore we can’t be blamed for doing something imperfect when we weren’t even aware that it was imperfect.
I say this all the time. Tom Brady might be one of the greatest athletes that ever walked this planet. For nearly 40 years he’s had experts walking around with him daily teaching him how to play football. Yet every single day he fumbles, throws incompletions and interceptions. In other words, he makes mistakes nonstop and for that we offer him forgiveness. We don’t judge him or think negatively of him. We still recognize his greatness. We accept ALL of him. Both his perfection and his imperfection. We need to do that with our parents as well.
Yet, we can’t even entertain the idea that our parents might’ve made a mistake? To think our parents never made mistakes when they never had any teaching or training is absolutely ludicrous and a complete disconnection from truth and reality. Those beliefs guarantee that pain is passed down.
It also places an absolutely unrealistic demand and expectation on ourselves to be perfect. That is so unfair. Unfortunately we place that demand on ourselves because of our own childhood and what happened to us when we were “wrong.” We all left childhood with the need to feel perfect or we wouldn’t get our parents love. That is the pain we haven’t healed, our parents haven’t healed, their parents and on and on and on.
That’s why we don’t want to talk about this topic or admit these truths? We’d have to face that feeling of imperfection and we will do anything to avoid feeling imperfect but that avoidance keeps us all trapped in the pain and then we become attracted to and pick a partner to relive that pain. It is all our brain and body knows so it feels like home.
Therefore, the solution is to face that feeling of imperfection and to sit down with our kids and say,
“I love you so much tell me how I was perfectly imperfect? I want to hear your pain. I want to hug you and hold you and let you know that I did the best I could with where I was at the time. If I had known better I would’ve done better but I’m so thankful that you’re willing to be open and vulnerable and share your heart with me and your pain with me.
I love you for your vulnerability and your strength and courage to tell me how I was perfectly imperfect as your parent.”
In my book, that is parenting, that is love and that is how we stop our attraction to toxic people.
Someone else may disagree and decide they have a different view of parenting. They get to have that view.
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