Thursday, April 23, 2009

Enabling & Rescuing vs Tough Love

I reported some time ago that my oldest daughter had " run amuck" and after some careful decision making, I decided that she needed to go and live with her father. Don't get me wrong, I love her very much but I had reached my limit of teenage drama, smart-mouthing, disrespect and so on, and so on. Emotionally, I was on edge after my brother's death and I felt like she needed to be taught a lesson about making right decisions. Chef Ed and I talked about people that we knew (ex-wife, friends, co-worker's) that never really learned the value of life and how important it was to have boundaries and respect within it.

This has not been an easy road for me and I have learned alot through practicing Tough Love with her. We cannot begin to make progress in learning to love ourselves until we start being kind to ourselves in healthy ways. A very important part of being kind to ourselves is learning how to say no and how to set, and be able to defend boundaries.

Unconditional love does not mean being a doormat for other people - unconditional love begins with loving ourselves enough to protect ourselves from the people that we love if that is necessary.

We live in a society where the emotional experience of "love" is conditional on behavior. Where fear, guilt, and shame are used to try to control children's behavior because parents believe that children's behavior reflects their self-worth. In other words, if Little Johnny is a well behaved good-boy, then his parents are good people. If Johnny acts out and misbehaves, then there is something wrong with his parents (he doesn't come from a good family).Love that does not include boundaries is not truly love.

No comments:

Blogger Design