Learning from the Systemic Field

The perfect parent illusion

I am the perfect parent. I want to be the perfect parent. Parents make choices around the idea that they have all the solutions to being the perfect parent. The child, however, with its expectations and wants of more and more needs to be met, never meets the perfect parent. 

In Family Constellations, we recognise that even the worst parent is perfect. This thinking is contra indicative of the social norm. How can an abusive parent be a perfect parent? The first time I was confronted with the concept that every parent is perfect, it shook out all my insides. What???

In the field of conscious awareness, or, as I like to call it, the field of wholeness, there is no right or wrong. Working with the concept of brokenness vs wellness allows a different flow of insight. Every home where abuse is experienced comes from a broken home where abuse is experienced. It is tough to observe the pattern of cycles of abuse. The question is not how we can break away from the abuse but rather, how we can heal from the abuse. 

The child’s life journey is not about the experience of abusive parents being the perfect or non-perfect parents. It is about acknowledging the life path impacted by abuse or non-abuse. While I do not condone abuse, I have learned to honour the soul-journey path for a child that finds himself in an abusive home. While children from abused homes often become abusive parents, they may break the patterns of the past through their own insights and become successful world leaders in their own right. Their experience of growing up in abusive circumstances helps them gain insight into the possibilities of breaking patterns. These insights are inspired by their perfect, non-perfect parents. In Family Constellations, we become aware of the loyalty, a love beyond comprehension, that a child has for their parents. Loyalty, beyond comprehension, from the child to the parent creates the insight that each parent is the perfect parent for each child. 

Even in a perfect setting, where a child is growing up in a loving environment, children experience difficulties in relationships with their parents. Why is that so? When parents give too much, the child expects more and more. A child’s needs are never satisfied. That is our human nature to always strive for more and more attention and love. 

Is there ever a situation where a parent is acknowledged as the perfect parent? Yes. Different expectations fall away when a child can recognise that parents can only give as much as they receive from their parents. Furthermore, the child can recognise that the parents already gave everything at the time when a child took life from the parents. Life is given in love, and a life is taken in love. Honour your father and your mother. When the child can honour that the parent is merely a vessel for the continuation in the flow of life, nothing more is required, and nothing more needs to be given.

As a good parent, the responsibility towards the life given is to ensure the survival of the life. Taking on parental responsibility is a service towards the continuation of all of life itself. Yes, a good parent provides for and nurtures the child to fulfil all of life’s possibilities as a responsible parent.

Not each parent is available to be a responsible parent. Responsibility is also entangled in various belief systems that accompany a parent-child relationship. What may be a value of responsibility for one parent may be met with a different set of values of duties by another parent. 

Every parent is the perfect parent for a child. Not every parent is a responsible parent. The perspective of how that responsibility would look is different for each parent-child relationship. Each relationship deserves to be valued in its own gainful way – for both – parent and child.

Relax. You do not need to be the perfect parent. As a parent, you are already the perfect parent. Your responsibilities as a parent are as much, not more, than what you can give to your child. Everything you share is always enough – whether the child can accept this or not is not in the parent’s control. What the child evaluates for him or herself is for the child to value. If a parent gives enough, the child can always receive enough. In the flow of life, we always receive enough, and we always give enough. Every person is enough!

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