“I am afraid that my son is a teenager: who will he relate to? Will he fall into drugs? ” These are some questions felt, silenced, spoken, and heard from friends. They are even reasons for consultation of parents with anticipatory anguish in relation to the character or social behavior of their adolescent children. This is especially true when they become a reason for consultation due to behavioral problems, drugs, aggressiveness, school dropouts, and even dysfunctional behaviors at home. Help is usually requested, and the emotional manifestations they experience are varied: from anger, concern to fear. There is even a kind of hidden or obvious guilt as an expression of their anguish.
Where are the roots of the problem?
Guilt as a mode of complaint becomes a kind of posture that favors family paralysis, twisting in the excuse of the suffering and lament itself. In young people and adolescents, many times we find ourselves before the quiet voice of obstacles: “my mother is afraid”; “My parents are to blame”, ins and outs where our children escape and allow their unhealthy behaviors –which are also reinforced. Where are the roots of the problem? It comes in the shared responsibility of the values that we transmit and the responsibility of our children to read reality in many ways other than our good intentions. Many times, we have said or heard the phrases like: “We are not born with a parenting manual under our arm” or that “we do our best.”
What do the experts say?
Ideally, when you are young, your parents and teachers know enough about emotions to help you navigate them. There has been a great failure of society: we have left parents very helpless, we forced them to get little degrees for everything except to have children and to understand how they function emotionally. In clinical observation, we do not find the ideal. It is inevitable to find varied profiles of families that repeat themselves accompanying their children who suffer from an emotional disorder or who take drugs. There are patterns of family behavior that are NOT conducive to education. It is important to clarify that when we refer to harmful styles; it is about what stands out unipolarly, accentuates, or abounds as the form of relationship between parents and their children. Here is the big difference between: “I want the best for my children” and “I want my son to be the best.”
This educational style has several nuances, although it basically refers to those parents who plan their children and their future from their own expectations “that they are the best.” It is a selfish, limited position on the needs of your children. Many times, the kids are subjected to an overload in studies, languages, reinforcements, and parents have little communication with them, little time to be interested in their tastes, interests, feelings, to share their free time in a relaxed way. There tend to be highly demanding and authoritarian family environments where the lack of specific competence is underestimated, while the non-expression of weaknesses, disabilities, or limitations is promoted.
Even, and this is the most harmful of all, children can read and/or interpret that to win the love of their parents, clouded by the cold demand, they have to be as their parents wish. However, this can be a long-term, stressful, tense, and chronically dissatisfied long-distance race because love has nothing to do with being the best. It’s never been like that. We don’t need to be the best. Instead, we need to be loved without condition, simply because of who we are. This style ends up undermining the purpose of natural affection, necessary while human affection is developing.
In short, future reflections come from the contemplation of human suffering, not from the symptoms. As parents, you will continue to share this type of pattern that influences family dynamics. There are patterns that become classic about the maintenance of a sick family system: “be the best, do not make mistakes, do not speak, do not feel, do not trust, do not lose control and do not seek help outside”. It does not have to be like that. If it is, then the whole family needs therapy and counseling.