Slavic, Christian Moms and Dads
Mom and dad, what if I told you that the health and healing of your family starts with you?
Often times, as a Slavic, Christian therapist, people bring me their children and say, “Fix her, fix him, fix the addict, fix (what therapists call the “identified patient”) and when you fix them for us, everything will go back to normal. Better yet, we give you one session to do that.”
Mom and dad, that’s not how I work. You see, often times when parents bring their children into therapy, what I tell Slavic, Christian parents is, “I want you to come to therapy and I want to do a session with you and your child. Better yet, I’d prefer to work with you as the parent first because if I can help you heal, the family system will naturally heal. It’s part of a ripple effect”
The response I receive is typically not very positive or understanding. It’s difficult for parents to see their children hurting and not blame themselves already, but taking responsibility is actually where the healing begins. Parents struggle with the idea that despite having done their best, they might have fallen short.
You see, the deeper problem actually lies in another place. it’s one thing for me to serve children and help them heal. But if they go back to a broken or hurting family system, those changes will not last. They will go back to the same patterns of behavior that they did before they came into therapy because the environment encourages and triggers those behaviors. For example, if parents are yelling at each other, children will most often do the same to each other or to their parents. If parents fight and hit one another, children will do the same. Until the example from the top changes, those below the parental authority will not.
Meanwhile, when I see the parents first, that’s when the lasting changes happen-especially if the parents last long enough in therapy to be able to have those changes be created in their hearts.
This is not to say that Slavic, Christian parents are always to blame for their children’s behavior, sometimes there is an invisible pain taking place on a neurological or biological level that we might not be aware of.
Mom and dad, I want to encourage you with something. Please don’t blame your children for having problems in the family anymore. When you take the responsibility of how you raised them upon yourself children can be healed. I say this with all the love and respect, and as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
If there are relationship struggles in your family that you don’t want to continue to live with, I want to challenge you to get your own healing. This will allow the relationships within the home to be as God intended them which are: loving, respectful, reciprocal, supportive, validating, safe, and whole.
I wish this for you dear viewer. Heal yourself so your inner self, your marriage, and the following generation can thrive in a healthy environment.