Human parents

~~~human parentsThis next idea is so obvious it really shouldn’t need stating.

And yet for many parents it does:

You can’t be a healthier parent than you are a person.

That means

~ anxious people are anxious parents,

~ depressed people are depressed parents,

~ alcoholic people are alcoholic parents,

~ angry people are angry parents,

~ ignorant people are ignorant parents,

~ narcissistic people are narcissistic parents,

~ dishonest people are dishonest parents,

and so on.

Obvious, right?

Not so much.

Because many of us kid ourselves. 

We imagine that — because we love our children so fiercely, or value our families, or know how devastating bad parenting can be, or work harder at parenting than anything else in our lives — we can somehow park our pathology at the front door.

That by sheer awareness or determination we can excise our pathology from these most vulnerable relationships, stop it from tainting our parenting and trickling down into our children’s lives.

It would be pretty to think so.

But it’s not so.

What is so?  This: 

(a) all parents are human;

(b) to be human is to be pathological — inadequate, frightened, angry, conflicted, confused, neurotic, blind;

(c) which means there are only two kinds of parents: those who own their pathology, and those who deny it.

 

 

 

 


3 responses to “Human parents

  • John

    Well stated, Steve!

    Do as I say, not as I do–or do I say, not as I am and exemplify–doesn’t work.

    This is gold:

    “to be human is to be pathological — inadequate, frightened, angry, conflicted, confused, neurotic, blind;

    “which means there are only two kinds of parents: those who own their pathology, and those who deny it.”

    To which I would add/suggest that there are two ways of owning it: trying to do something about it (i.e., seeking counseling/therapy), or not doing anything about it because it’s too much a part of who one considers oneself to be (egosyntonic).

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