“CHILDREN’S NEED FOR LOVE IS NOT BASED ON THEIR PARENTS’ ABILITY TO GIVE IT”
Parents love their children. The children may or may not recognise this. The attention we receive from them may not appear to be loving at all. It will be based on their past experience and then the emotions are logical. Experience is stored for later use - the conclusion being the information we act upon. So, if, for example, a baby is born to a mother who is afraid of labour and whose last baby died, her justifiable fear may make her new baby conclude that life is frightening. With that amount of fear being around in your life even before you are born, you’d be right. Then there are plenty of things in the world outside to confirm the baby’s opinion and nothing in the medicalisation of Western birth practices (including removing the baby from its mother just at a time when it needs reassurance most of all - and may conclude that she’s died) to change it. Maybe a way to look at this is to see that this has been the baby’s opinion of life so far - based on its mother’s, but that this does not mean that life is always frightening; or that not everyone’s life is frightening. I believe fear comes from a lack of fundamental support and readiness to move on to the next stage of maturity. Unfortunately it is so rare here in Britain to see a child completely confident that he will not be let down, that adults believe that children will not move on to the next stage of development unless pushed. Our experience of new experiences is therefore often tainted with having to attempt them before we are really ready and sure we can do something, and eventually afraid of failing - partly because adults also have a habit of laughing at their own children’s’ failures (there are reasons for this too) which makes the children dread trying the things their parents wish them to do so much. After all this it is hard to remember how much the child needs the parent’s approval. Children do want to please their parents and need to feel loved. Children’s need for love is not based on their parents’ ability to give it. Explaining this helps the intellect but does not ease the hurt of the child within (although it may help it to feel its hurt is justified). We need an appropriate way to express the many years of stored hurt. The Rebirthing process offers this - with a Practitioner who offers loving, emotional, non-judgmental attention. Our parent’s parenting is often a reaction to the way that they were brought up - we may conclude that we are personally at fault for the harsh treatment (in our view) that we receive. Talk about it! You may find that it all makes sense viewed from their perspective: their parents were much stricter and they were being really relaxed (letting you stay out ‘til 9.30 when you were 16 and really embarrassed because your friends had to be home at 11 o’clock, and your Dad thought he was being relaxed because he had had to come in at 8).