Parents, guardians, and/or care takers are supposed to teach and guide the intellectual, physical, emotion, and spiritual development of the children under their care. However, a role reversal often takes place when the guiding adult has issues. Parentification is the term coined to describe this.
Issues are so prevalent today. What adult doesn’t have them? We’re all susceptible because we live in a very broken world. Those who are educated, highly religious, and living in the developed world are not immune. What a crushing blow! Could it be that this is the world wide epidemic, not Zika, HIV, or Swine Flu? I believe so.
Inappropriately expressed anger usually begets more anger unless you have an amazing leader like Ghandi, MLK Jr, or Mandela inspiring otherwise.
Anger in and of itself is not wrong. I felt refreshed by Elizabeth Brown’s writing in Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People. She said, anger is “completely natural and perfectly legitimate.” All agree with the first statement. But few of us have been taught the latter.
Where does anger come from? It’s the natural response from feeling hurt from a painful experience. The nature of what triggered the hurt and how the recipient perceives it often explains why it can escalate into ugly or it is benign.
The predominate culture along with prevalent indifference impede the ability for many to feel the hurt. Consider the statements, “Oh it’s not that bad.” “Think of someone who has it worse.” “You’ll get over it.” “Buck up, be a man.” Few are permitted much less encouraged to feel the hurt. We need more to teach like Dr. Christina Hibbert does in her TEARS acronym. The theme I reiterate with my daughter is “You need to feel it in order to heal from it.”
But in our culture who wants to see their child hurt? No one. I stood helpless at my daughter’s bedside watching her endure the pain of the gas following her emergency appendectomy. The doctors and nurses instructed that she needed to get walking to get the gas out. So I had to encourage her to feel the pain by getting out of bed and walk as much as she could tolerate to get the gas out.
Oh, and then how embarrassing. She’s producing disgusting sounds and leaving behind repulsive smells as she encounters strangers walking in excruciating pain through the corridors of the hospital. What a great analogy for what often needs to happen for us to heal our emotional wounds!
To complicate healing we live in a culture swayed strongly by marketing that drives the economy. Society is constantly bombarded with subtle messages of what a good parent looks like that is really a hook to get you to buy something. This has led to a generation of spoiled children who believe they are entitled to everything without having to do any work. Check out Dr. Madeline Levine to explore further. Also, marketing is constantly feeding us lies that if we buy this product, use this service, or take this trip then we will feel happy.
To add further, we are so overwhelmed with what we need to know and do that we’ve become ignorant in so many ways. How many terms did I use that you really don’t know. And if you think you know on a conscious level do you on a subconscious level?
Let’s work at feeling, healing, growing up into mature men and women who are equipped to be real parents and youth leaders rather than fake ones like the woman who kidnapped Rapunzel and brainwashed her by isolating her in a tall tower deep within the forest. Stop faking it.