by Jessica Zonneveld, Childrens' Coach
Boundaries: many parents struggle with this.
You’re completely normal!
The "Good Enough" mother is the one...
...who doesn't need to be perfect, who doesn't judge others for not being perfect and who teaches her child the necessity of not being perfect and of being different among people. And who takes a lot of (perfection) stress off her child's shoulder.
...who accepts the love that her child feels for her, but who also equally accepts all the other feelings that may come from him, even anger.
...who admits that she has feelings of unconditional love for her child, but also acknowledges that there will be moments in everyday life when she will be experience more negative and overwhelming feelings. She knows that these cannot erase or diminish the loving part.
Children understand everything they hear and see around them. Probably not with the way we -adults- perceive reality around us, but with their own unique way. And when the hear the news, the shocking-terrible news on the TV, they get the feeling that something bad is happening, or is going to happen (even if they don't understand the details of it). And they are scared. Terrified. And they don't feel safe anymore. Especially when they see their own parents feeling the same way, they feel helpless.
Children sometimes lack perspective of their world around them. They hear about something that happened in India while they live in Oslo, and they feel that this is happening ...next door. They cannot understand how big is the world or how far from them is what happened. They even think that if they move to another house, they will feel safe again. Listen to their need: safety. Reassure them that you will protect them whatever happens. Remind them that there are always good people around us, not only people that want to hurt us.
It is quite common, but yet worrying, to see children or teenagers trapped in a negative self-talk about their achievements ("I am not good enough", "I always fail"), their performance ("I am so stupid", "The others always have better grades"), their popularity ("I have no friends", "I will be forever alone", "I feel like a burden to my friends") or their appearance ("I am so fat", I have ugly face", "No one likes me"). Consequently, they start being less sociable, they spend more time in their room, their eating habits change, they are less cheerful and more sad, they get easily irritated, they take everything more personally.
Children often feel or are really helpless when their parents get divorced. This is a very emotional time for parents and children become part of the conflict, since each parent individually decides what is in the interest of the children according to their own beliefs.
Most of the parents continue to care for their children and maintain a civilized, if not friendly, relationship with the person with whom they are separated for the rest of their lives. For those who cannot keep that kind of relationship with their ex-spouse, it seems that children have much to say about it. In case that they tell you what they think, it is a good idea to listen carefully of some words of wisdom they have to offer. Here are some examples:
Children do not want:
... To see their parents arguing. It makes them feel bad about themselves.
HOME IS WHERE YOUR HEART IS.