I believe that parenting is a leadership exercise. I also believe that leaders should never ask their people to do the things that they themselves are not willing to do. I think that most would agree with that, but we (parents) ask our kids to do things that we ourselves are unwilling to do, especially in the realm of personal healing.
For a long time, we focused on our kids’ hurts and histories while not dealing with our own. That feels, and perhaps more importantly, looks good. After all, good parents are focused on their kids and what they need. One of the things they need that we too often overlook is emotionally healthy parents. The truth of the matter is that unless we lead them to a place of healing, rather than push them there, they will never heal the way we want them to. They way they need to. We can’t push them, but we can show them how to work through their histories by working through our own.
We need to do the hard work of making sense of where we came from because unresolved parents are less responsive to their kids’ needs. Unresolved parents tend to get stuck when things get tough. Unresolved parents struggle to reject “me” vs. “you” thinking and will have difficulty embracing a mindset of togetherness.
Conflict happens at the intersection of two people’s histories. Our homes become more peaceful and restorative when we are willing to deal with our issues. We can’t truly help our kids or show them what healing looks like if we are not on a journey of healing ourselves. To be effective agents of healing in our kids’ lives we will need to embrace their histories and come to terms with our own. Both are necessary.
You can not lead a child to a place of healing if you do not know the way yourself. – Karyn Purvis