In conscious parenting, the message we often hear is “connect, connect, connect”. And yet, rarely do we hear about the importance of “healthy separation” in our relationships with our children.
Believing that “separation” is unhealthy leads to the engulfment of the child out of our need to ALWAYS connect. I took the messages to “heart” that my job was to ALWAYS seek connection with my daughter. At the beginning of our relationship, this felt great and yet over time, this turned into me projecting all my needs onto her and then attending to them. She was the location of the needy one and it felt both familiar and right to take care of her needs on-demand while rejecting mine. This was great for the first year or so since her needs were also prominent, and yet slowly this led to her expressing an intense rage which definitely created a necessary separation.
Unfortunately, I didn’t hear the true message which was “back off” mama, give me some space so I can know myself. What I heard was “I don’t love you” which triggered my feelings of rejection and abandonment. I’d organized my life to never feel these early vulnerable feelings so honestly, I was in the weeds and thought there was something inherently “wrong” with my daughter or me.
The deeper I tried to connect the more she pushed me away which I took VERY personally. I needed her to let me take over her being so I could feel mine. It was incredibly painful and led to my creation of the SafeSeat.
I turned toward the needy one in me who was desperately calling for support. As I separated out from needing my daughter to need me slowly we both found our ground coming back together in a healthy way including healthy separation and connection.
One of the signs this might be happening in your home is if your child behaves in a highly aggressive or angry way pushing you away when you offer what you perceive as loving help. If so, ask yourself: Am I positioning myself as the one who tells my child “what to do? When to do? How to do?” their life? Truthfully, look inside and if the answer is “yes” ask yourself how would that be for you?
Are you willing to move back into your lane making sure you are driving your car while coming alongside your beautiful child? Give it a shot and see what happens.