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 feeling around providing his daughters with love, attention, patience, food, clothes, toys and everything else they need 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.”
This is not an uncommon scenario. Many parents feel this way internally and if they can see it as an opportunity, then they can understand how this is showing up FOR THEM. Let me explain. Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist and creator of Family Constellation or Systemic Family work, discovered profound and somewhat confronting specific family dynamics that when in proper order lay the foundation for health, happiness and success. When “dis-order” in the family system occurs it can and often does lead to health ailments, self sabotage patterns, and creates a vibrational match for drama and trauma.
His findings have been seen as quite controversial. Hellinger states, “The whole purpose of being male is to serve the feminine.” He also teaches about the order between parents and children. The proper order is for parents to give to children and for children to receive from parents. When this is reversed, as it is in myriad families, the disruptions can manifest as chronic illness of every nature including autoimmune disease, gut dis-ease, cancer, autism as well as many other physical ailments. When the family system is not in proper order people may find difficulty finding or maintaining relationships and financial security.
It is not in alignment for children to give back to their parents in the same way they are given to. The family system is meant to give downstream. It’s a one way street.
Yes, there are plenty of children who take care of their parents. There are plenty of children who must become parentified mini adults because of dire circumstances. Unfortunately, this takes its toll and will affect them sooner or later in life. It creates imbalance.
When my client and I 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.
When we become parents, it is a giving role. Giving purely, with unconditional love, expects nothing. Becoming a parent to receive from your child is a poor reason to have children.
A Present Parent knows that our children are not truly “ours.” Rather, they are beings on a journey. And, they can be our biggest teachers, should we choose to accept the lessons.
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.