February 26, 2011

As parents, we enable because . . .

  • we have confused "helping" with "enabling" 
  • we love too much, too little, too dependently, and too conditionally
  • we fear for our children's safety, the consequences, and the unknown
  • we feel guilty about things we did or didn't do when our children were younger
  • we have never dealt with our own painful past issues, including abandonment, abuse, addictions, and a host of painful circumstances that have shaped us into who we are
  • our inborn personality traits make us prone to do so
  • it's all we know how to do (habit) 
  • sometimes it's easier to maintain the status quo than it is to change
  • we think it's the right thing to do as Christians
  • we make excuses because drugs and alcohol have disabled or handicapped our adult children
  • we are ignorant and don't know any better
I have not confused helping with enabling. I am well informed on these two terms and understand the differences. I also know through family counseling that as a parent sometimes you have to allow your kids to suffer the natural consequences of the choices that they make. Pick your battles because once they are an adult they have to figure it out on their own. You cannot live your child’s life for them.

Hat Tip: Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children

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