Never Underestimate the Power of a Child to Heal a Parent through Love

Moyo Musings - Weekly Reflections for Growth

Happy relationships are a learned dynamic In modern civilization, fragmented family systems seem to be the norm rather than the exception. Unfortunately, the children of these broken families are the most affected. Their readiness to enter relationships in adulthood is largely determined by their relationship with their parents and the relationship between their parents.

When parents do not know how to communicate assertively, apologize, forgive, and confront one another compassionately in challenging situations, children don't learn these skills. Instead they may adopt the same patterns of the parents or feel ill-equipped to handle life. Since they did not witness healthy dynamics throughout their childhood, as adults they do not know how to relate to others. In cases where parental relationships are failing and the child feels pulled in opposite directions, the child may make an inner decision to never be in that situation as an adult and subconsciously sabotage relationship opportunities, afraid of failure.

Children have the power to heal their families  While it may seem that children are completely powerless to help resolve family problems, they have much more influence on their parents than would seem at first glance. When asked about how to cope with such a problem by a teen, philosophers Sri Amma and Sri Bhagavan have suggested that children understand the following principles when approaching their parents.

  1. Children do not have the right to judge their parents. Whether they are friendly, strict, abusive, aloof, or otherwise, there is a reason for why they are the way they are. Parents were also children once, and they have been shaped by their unique life experiences. 

  2. Do not be argumentative or try to advise your parents. These tactics don’t bring about true change.

  3. Be a child with them. Do not try to be the parent - they may find it offensive and patronizing.

  4. Give them love and affection. Though they are parents, they secretly wish for their children to reciprocate love for them, too.

Such suggestions may seem counterintuitive, oppressive or even impossible to follow at first! So let’s take a look at an instance where these teachings brought about real healing in a family. Love is non-judgmental acceptance A young boy was having relationship issues with his father. His father was unsuccessful, struggling with an alcohol addiction, and spoke authoritatively to the boy and his mother. The boy inquired where his fathers’ behavior came from. He discovered that when his father was very young, he had been given up for adoption. At 4 years old, his adoptive parents met with a fatal accident and he was returned to his biological parents, who unwillingly took him in. Throughout his childhood, he felt unwanted, neglected and lost, without a true parental figure to guide him. He was constantly waiting on his parents to provide him even basic necessities, such as food and clothes. His experience was that he could never ask for anything.

When he became a father and husband, he resolved that he would never allow the same experience for his own family, and that he would always provide everything to them first without being asked. It was through this revelation, that the young boy realized that his father’s dominating ways stemmed from love. When he saw the various factors that shaped his father into the man he is, he stopped judging him, started to love his father, and even allowed him to be his dominating self. His father felt very accepted by his son. He slowly recovered from his alcohol addiction, and even started consulting his wife in all family decisions. The entire family relationship dynamic transformed just by the young boy’s shift in attitude. This example is a case in point, that even children hold the power to bring about healing in their families. The true remedy here was non-judgmental acceptance of his father.

No matter our age, we have all been children once and can benefit from this teaching. What is your attitude towards your parents? Do you judge them? Do you accept them the way they are? Contemplate this with your Higher Self today. Ask to discover love in your relationship with your parents.

~Nitya Naidu, Social Media Coordinaor

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash