The most insidious of the premature responsibilities that may be foisted onto some children is the expectation that the child is somehow supposed to take care of his parents, rather than the other way around. Parents who were themselves raised with too little attention given to their own early feelings, if they have not worked out the resulting emotional problems in subsequent years, often look forward to having children of their own so that the children will make happy. (81)
When dreaded outcomes are actually imminent we don't worry about themwe take action. Seeing lava from the local volcano make its way down the street toward our house does not cause worry it causes running. Also we don't usually choose imminent events as subjects for our worrying and thus emerges an ironic truth: Often the very fact that you are worrying about something means that it isn't likely to happen.
How can families harm us when they love us? Very easily, unfortunately. Most of us overlook one important fact when we think love is enough: Love and respect aren't the same thing.Love is fusion. As a baby, you belong to your parents, you're extension of them. Respect is differentiation: you belong to yourself, and you're an extension of no one. Differentiation is essential for happiness of adults.
From the time they hit middle school, they start moving away from home. They are not doing anything wrong; it's just the way they are made. They are becoming independent, and they begin redefining themselves through the eyes other people who are not in their immediate family. The older they get, the more important it is to have other voices in their lies saying the same things but in a different way.
At what age did I start to think that where I was going was more important than where I already was? When was it that I began to believe that the most important thing about what I was doing was getting it over with? Knowing how to live is not something we have to teach children. Knowing how to live is something we have to be careful not to take away from them.
When they're little, and you go for years without a good night's sleep, you wonder if they'll ever make it through to morning without finding some reason to wake you up. But then one day you look at the clock and it's 7:30 a.m......For a panicked moment, you wonder if your child is---well, I can't even say it. You leap out of bed and run into his room and if you haven't wakened him up with all your commotion by then, you stand there for a minute trying to make sure that he's still breathing. You see the chest rising and falling and you let out a sigh. There's nothing wrong. He's just growing up. He doesn't need you anymore, is all; he doesn't need to wake you up in the night.