No, one person can fulfil all the needs of another. So, why as parents do we believe, we can and should? I will never be able to meet ALL my children’s needs and of course, it is not actually my job to do so because if I did, they would never want to connect with anyone else in the world. Also, sometimes parents are not to blame for their children’s “bad” choices. Some children become addicted to drugs even though they come from a loving family. I am getting very tired of reading books, watching interviews and listening to “Experts” telling me I am to blame for all my children’s issues. Sure, parents have an integral part to play in influencing their children while growing up, but we are not the only influences. Children have their own unique personalities they bring to the world. Ask any parent who has more than one child and they will confirm, each child is different. This uniqueness happens right from the moment they are born, no two babies act the same. This is why it is a futile exercise to listen to or practice, any one method of parenting style, it just does not work, how can it when not only is every child different, but every stage of their development is different and you never know what is coming.
It seems the only real guidance we can rely on when it comes to parenting comes from experience, our own and that of other parents. Some children are really “Wild” when they are young, but when they hit their teens they became calmer, like they have got it all out of their system….with some children it is the opposite, a dreamy “Good child” becomes an moody, apathetic teenager. Yes, there are times when a certain event can be pin pointed to coincide with the change in the child’s behaviour, but sometimes it just happens. And, even if there is an event, a sibling being born and being seen as a threat to having to share the parents love and attention or a move to a new school or home because of a parent’s job….this is life! We can not protect them from everything. We can be understanding and loving, BUT maybe we should be careful not to support a child’s idea of them self as a victim of life. We can do this by not carrying guilt ourselves, by not taking our children’s behaviour personally (hard I know) and trusting that they are working through their own process.
When we fully detach ourselves from the belief that we are responsible for our children’s happiness, we set ourselves and our children free. We can do what we can in every moment to create an environment and relationship with our children in which contentment and happiness may flourish, but we can not actually MAKE anyone be happy.