Your child is struggling
The moment our children were born, we felt an overwhelming love for them. This feeling continues to this present day.
However, this feeling is not unique to us. It’s an instinct every parent possesses.
We feel a deep-seated love for our children. This love is not based on performance or achievement, but only on who they are.
You are as happy as your unhappiest child.
I heard the saying ‘you’re as happy as your unhappiest child’ ages ago. Since then, I have often thought about it because this statement rings so true!
I was at my wife’s side when the umbilical cords were cut. Yet sometimes it seems as if we missed a little part. If one of the children isn’t doing well, we can feel it in everything we do. For a large part, our state of mind also depends on the state of mind of the child that is hurting
This is another recognizable truth that most parents will acknowledge.
It is not for nothing that you often hear parents say that they would like to take over their children’s pain and worries. It is heartbreaking to see that your child is in pain, sick, or unhappy. As a parent, you can feel powerless and want to move the whole world to ensure your child is doing well.
Having children can be a blessing. On the other hand, it can also be a worry.
Unfortunately, many of us have to deal with difficulties during our lives. Everyone will experience setbacks or something that can cause a lot of grief and pain. Children are no exception.
- You want to spare your child the hurt.
- You hope life will always smile them in the face.
- You hope they will be blessed with beautiful moments, meet nice people, do well at
- school, and get the best opportunities in life.
- You pray that a perfect life will be theirs for the taking.
Unfortunately, the chance that this dream picture becomes true is rather slim.
As long as children are living at home, you can, within certain limits, make sure that they do not lack anything. And you might often have the illusion that you can protect them from the outside world.
Sadly, as adults, we know only too well that someone’s well-being does not solely depend on the family in which they were born or the environment in which they grew up. There is so much more to take into account. For instance:
- your child’s genes,
- the experiences they go through,
- their intrinsical talents or challenges
If you are lucky as a parent, your child will grow up as a balanced person. A person who is spared physical and mental discomfort—a person who will also be financially and socially successful. If you are lucky, your children will be happy people who, roughly speaking, can lead a comfortable life.
But sometimes it doesn’t go like you would have wanted it to. And for whatever reason, your children have issues.
If so, you might feel you have failed, and the children’s worries are often yours too.
We have to face it. Life is not always a walk in the park.
We can only influence our children’s happiness to a small extent. At best.
We have to keep an eye on our own well-being even if our children face challenges in their lives.
So how do you do that?
How do you keep your sanity when your children are not happy?
Find Inner Peace.
Don’t think I have a definite answer to that question. Even so, here are some things I found useful.
One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to find inner peace. Because when your child is not feeling well, you will also relive your past pains. Realizing your children aren’t well will touch you and hurt you.
As a parent, you don’t have all the resilience in the world either. Your little bucket of grief and worry sometimes runs over. Look for support from your partner, sisters, brothers, or friends. Share your fears. Talk about them. Allow yourself those moments when you don’t always have the answers of how to cope with everything.
There is a place for your emotions and feelings. When you share them and talk about them, you can regain the energy to be there for your child again.
Know There Will Be Setbacks.
Sooner or later, there will be setbacks. Things will happen that will turn your child’s life upside down. Unpleasant events or developments in life will cause your child to become unbalanced, and so on. This is unavoidable. It is part of life.
No matter how annoying it is and how terrible it will be for parents to see that their child is not happy or struggling, it is a setback that your child will have to learn to deal with.
After all, these things in life also enable them to build their character, become stronger, cope with other setbacks in life, etc.
Being able to spare your child the pain can sometimes seem like the best thing you can do, and often, it will be. However, that’s not always the case, and you can’t always prevent it. Sometimes it’s good to let children make their own mistakes and get back on their feet and learn from them.
Practice Loving-Kindness Meditation.
This is how it works.
With loving-kindness meditation, you concentrate on the breath and the region of the heart. Next, you think of a person for whom you have strong feelings of warmth and affection (for example, your child). After admitting these feelings of warmth, appreciation, and kindness, you can project these feelings on yourself. You become the object of attention, and you wish this warmth and affection for yourself.
After this first cycle, you extend this feeling to other people. First, to people close to you, like a child, then to people who are a bit further away from you, like a colleague, neighbor, or acquaintance.
And as the last step, but that requires training from the earlier phases, one wishes this loving-kindness to a person with difficulties (such as a conflict).
These are the words I use when I am meditating with loving-kindness:
The Child is the Alpha and the Omega of a parent’s happiness.
~ Amit Abraham