Parenting an Unhappy Child: You Can (and Need to) be Happy Even When Your Child is Not.
I know firsthand the heartache that comes with having a teenager who struggles with eating disorders and other self-harming behaviour. Helplessness combines with guilt and even shame. I was fortunate to discover how to be happy despite our circumstances, and learned that not only could I be happy, but by being happy I was helping my child. That’s why I must debunk the myth that we can only be as happy as our least happy child. This unfortunate concept condemns parents of unhappy children to life sentences of misery. It doesn’t have to be this way and what’s more, the unhappiness parents suffer contributes to the ongoing misery of their children...
Here are a few reasons why being a happy parent actually helps a child:
On Finding Happiness Within
One of the key ideas we use here at Choose Again is that “nothing outside of me can bring me anything I want.”
Many of us are already familiar with this idea. We know that "happiness comes from within.” Or at least we have learned to accept this, intellectually. As familiar as this idea may have become by now, it is always worth taking a pause over.
There is a great treasure buried underneath the simplicity of this statement - “nothing outside of me can bring me anything I want.”
In this blog, I would I like to offer a way I have found to “dig deeper” into this treasure. If nothing else, it can offer you a fun and thought-provoking way to think and reflect on a statement that might have already become a dry cliché.
So, allow yourself a few minutes in which to reflect, and to enjoy. If you have a journal nearby bring it, or you can use anything to write down what you will discover.
One question we often get asked at Choose Again is - what is the purpose of a relationship?
And in particular - what is the purpose of a romantic relationship?
The purpose of a relationship - from the point of view of Choose Again - is to reflect back to me the core beliefs that I still need to work on. In other words the purpose of the relationship, is to bring out of hiding all the false ideas I have about myself.
It’s a fact - I will always attract into my life someone who will reflect to me the areas that I most need to work on. In fact, that is the real purpose of the relationship. This is true for all relationships - whether they are intimate relationships or working relationships.
The key is to not be afraid of what my partner will reflect back to me. I need not fear the conflicts in the relationship, but welcome them.
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