I was recently speaking with a client about his relationship with his six and eight year old daughters. He was venting about how frustrated he is as he gives his daughters love, attention, patience, food, clothes, toys and everything else while they do not reciprocate. He said, “There’s got to be some give back. It’s like the feminine…constantly taking and I have to support, give everything and take care of everything.”
I told him that parenting is a one-way relationship.
It is not in alignment for children to give back to their parents in the same way we give to them. They give to us purely with their love. That’s it.
They are not required and should not be expected to give back to us. Yes, there are plenty of children who take care of their parents. There are plenty of children who must become mini adults because of dire circumstances. Unfortunately, this takes it’s toll and will affect them sooner or later in life. It creates imbalance. The imbalance could manifest in attachment adaptations, physical illness or relationship difficulties.
When we looked deeper, we found he was being triggered by the perceived one sidedness of his relationship with his daughters because it was a mirror of his own internal battle not feeling well taken care of and not receiving unconditional love from his parents. His angst around the feminine, and projecting that onto his daughters, stems from his trauma with his mother from childhood.
He was not consciously aware that his anger, resentment and expectations of his daughters was continuing the propensity for his daughters to carry this same wound that is the root source of this inside of him.
When we become a parent, it is a giving role we are taking on. Giving purely, with unconditional love, expects nothing. Giving to get with anyone is inauthentic. Becoming a parent to receive from your child is a poor reason to have children.
Any time difficult emotions are triggered when we are relating with our children, it is a mirror of us, our trauma and something that is calling out to us for unconditional presence.