Many of my clients either have trouble dealing with their children, or adult children have problems with their parents.
Adult children are left feeling frustrated, 'I love my parents/mother/father, but I wish they wouldn't do/say.......... Parents love their children but wish they would get on with their own lives or feel rejected by them because they have in a sense run away from home and have barely any connection with them.
Whilst conflict between the generations is as old as mankind, it is important to question why that is and what we can do about this conflict.
Here again I reach for the Persian mystic, Kahlil Gibran to find out what his advice is on developing a healthy, nurturing and feeing relationship and attitude to being a parent. When asked on his thoughts about children, he wrote the following:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward not tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable. Kahlil Gibran
Be the bow, sending your children, the arrows, into the world, unencumbered by your expectations.
On reading these words, some clients become quite emotional, realising that their relationship with their children is more of a controlling nature, placing too high expectations on them and not allowing them to evolve freely.
How do you see yourself as a parent to your children?