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My Parent Was My Best Friend

Over the years specializing on inner child healing primarily of adults I have learned first hand the long term effects of parenting. Often someone will come in feeling depressed and unmotivated. They may be at a point in their life where they have little or no impulse control and are caught in some debilitating addiction. When asked about their childhood they often say, “Oh, I had a great childhood. My dad’s my best friend. Us kids were free to do whatever we wanted and we had a great time.” No tell-tale stories of parents fighting or any kind of abuse and yet something happened that created a very unhappy adult. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed “lack of healthy boundaries” you were right. A child who is given too much free reign too soon is a child who is afraid. Children need healthy boundaries and follow-through discipline that is instructive and kind. Without it the child feels like a tiny boat afloat in the middle of an endless and dangerous sea. At first there must be very limited freedom and gradually over time the child can be allowed to experiment, make bigger mistakes, and finally freedom. This gradual letting go must occur over a period of years. Good parenting is work and requires wisdom and intuition. It’s one of the greatest and toughest jobs. A good parent who knows how to set loving boundaries is priceless.

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