I Wish My Child To Be Not Like Me
When the child is seen behaving more authentically, more powerfully, being an extrovert, less talkative and so-on and so-forth, the parents say: “I will encourage my child to continue to be so. I don’t want him to BE LIKE ME!”. On the surface, though this looks an encouraging statement, it is more of a self judging and self criticizing statement.
This kind of encouragement shows that there is a part in parent’s behavior which the parent dislikes, disowns. The parent is bound by it, helpless with it. The child will see the parent as the PARENT IS. If the parent is driven out of guilt, shame and supporting the child thru this drive, it conveys the same to child. Children learn a lot by modelling, particularly from parents and parental figures, like maama-mausi, aunty-uncle, grand-pa, grand-ma and so-on. If the talk and the inner feelings are not congruent, the child has an access to a living in-congruent model to copy.
Coming from this motive also indicates that the parent encourages the child to reach the other end of what the parent’s behavior is! There is no rationalization of whether such a behavior is really required or not required in child, whether such a behavior is natural to the child or not. All that drives a parent is – projecting his unfulfilled wish on the child.
These kinda of statements and thoughts give an opportunity for the parent to look within and identify the part of oneself which is disowned and disliked. It either can be overcome or embraced as one’s nature by therapy or coaching.
It would be of a greater help, health, strength and esteem, if the parent encourages from the place of being OK with his own behavior, thinking and feeling patterns. This automatically lets the child to be the way he is, as the parent is now not driven by any of his unfulfilled wish to project on the child. The parent is free and lets the child be free. In fact, this would help the parent to see the child’s behavior rationally and guide with what’s required for a healthy independent and inter-dependent behavior.