Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

The Tiny Voice Locked in a Box

I’ve seen parents do the weirdest things. Like one time I saw my friend spank her kid because he fell down. I’m not even kidding.  I literally could not speak in response. Even to day I’m still trying to figure that one out. Another time I watched in horror as a lady in the grocery store literally stood at the check out counter and screamed at her daughter for not “handling the groceries right!” People were watching, but nobody knew what to say. It was so shocking. This little girl, probably 5 years old, started sobbing, but her mom didn’t let up. I could still hear her yelling as I pushed my cart of out the automated doors as I left the store, heart pounding, wishing so badly to have said something in that child’s defense.

Anything.

For someone whose whole life is devoted to educating the world about relationship and connection, seeing these types of parent/child interactions is frustrating and so sad — to say the very least. And it’s the kind of thing that causes me nightmares. Literally. The same recurring dream where a baby is screaming, locked in a box upstairs, while all the happy people in the kitchen pretend not to hear the pain in that tiny voice. The baby screams in terror so long that her brain literally begins to shut down and she is left with no other choice except to disassociate.

To this day, that baby, at 60 years old, still feels locked in that box somehow. I’ve seen this kind of thing over and over again in real life. A parent dragging a child away from a happy day, only to be told that it is now “nap time”. Obviously, children need rest, but sometimes I think it is the parents who are needing the rest. So they force their own needs upon their child, despite the effect on the relationship. Despite the effect on their child’s sense of self and how they will forever perceive the world.

When we look closer at the types of behaviors that drive us parents nuts, we start seeing a pattern. The behaviors in fact have little to do with our kids and more to do with us. They are all things that make us question ourselves, that bring to the fore our deepest, darkest fears. Maybe that we are turning into our father or that we act just like our mother. The same father that hit us when we cried and the same mother that left us alone when we called for her. We, as parents, must process those fears so that we can look past our children’s behaviors and actually give them what they need in that moment. When we can do that, it’s then that someone, finally, hears that tiny voice locked in a box.

(I heard it. You matter to me.)

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February 28, 2008 - Posted by | A New Paradigm

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