Physical and Emotional Health: The Best Gift for Our Children
Dealing with Suppressed Emotional Issues Helps Us be Better Parents
by Amy Egan
I love working with parents on their quests to better relationships with their children, more harmony within their families and more joy in parenting. There are many aspects to reaching these goals such as feeling comfortable saying ‘no’, allowing kids to make mistakes, listening and validating kids’ feelings, realizing you as parent are not responsible for fixing their problems, loving children no matter how happy or sad they make their lives, being truly present with them, etc. But there is another aspect that I realize I’ve not given ample focus. The aspect of getting healthy, yourself, is vital to a child’s well being. Of course, this means physical health, but it also very much means emotional health. A parent who has inner turmoil – issues not dealt with such as, suppressed anger, addiction or emotional scars, will parent their child from a clouded perspective. A parent who is emotionally unhealthy is far more likely to under react or over react to children’s issues and behaviors throughout their lives.
It is very common for parents learning to parent more effectively, to have their own emotional baggage surface — demanding to be dealt with. Some see this as a problem or a curse but I see it as a gift and opportunity. The healthiest parents are most able to raise the healthiest kids. And it reminds me of the quote,
“If you never had children you could go on believing that you were a really nice person.”
Having children, if you haven’t noticed, allows us to see parts of ourselves we have never seen before or were nicely able to hide in our child-free lives. And as our kids get older and wiser, they become more able to spot any of the places we have that are in serious need of loving attention and work. When they are aware of these, a host of emotions can arise in them from insecurity to rage.
Let us always remember the modeling role we have in our children’s lives, as well. Unresolved emotional pain often causes one to act in ways less than admirable. Whether we like it or not, these behaviors have an effect on our kids. At the same time, healing our pain and therefore improving our behavior is a wonderful way to show kids that we can always improve ourselves and our lives and that it is actually our responsibility to do so.
Perhaps our children come to us partly to illuminate what needs healing within our own souls. If we take the time and energy to focus on getting healthy inside and out, we make much better parents and are, as well, stronger role models for them . When we are good role models for our kids they grow up to be healthier and tend to have greater influences on the world. So, do yourself a favor. If you are dealing with suppressed wounds, see that therapist, meet with a life coach, attend support groups, face your addiction, ask for help. You are not just helping yourself and your children but the ripple effect just may be a gift to the world!
Amy Egan is a parenting consultant and life coach. She coaches privately, loves to speak to parent organizations and hosts several weekly life coaching groups for women and moms. If you are interested in private or group coaching contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Like her parenting page on Facebook. Amy Egan – Texas Parenting.