My child, my shield
Single parent with child, can we allow ourselves to love again?
Curiously, this is a question more often asked by mothers than by fathers! In this column, I did not want to distinguish, the question arises in the feminine as in the masculine.
After a death, a separation, a divorce, some parents no longer plan to find love again and wish to devote themselves entirely to their child.
Parent and child are in danger! When the child is the sole concern of a parent, when he becomes a pretext for not rebuilding his affective life, for no longer living for himself.
“He is my whole life”, beware danger!
The child cannot be seen as the one who makes the parent exist, who provides him with an identity, a status. How to empower, empower the child, if the adult cannot do without him.
The child, essential to the happiness of the adult, is parentalized!
In all cases, the parentalization of the child, whatever his age, prevents his emotional development.
The child feels when it is necessary for the well-being of his parent, he then takes on a role that is not his own, that of savior, comforter, confidant, protector. He sacrifices himself, refuses separation, experiences anxiety at the idea of spending time away from his parent. The excessive presence of the parent in the life of the child prevents him from becoming autonomous (autonomy is essential to learn, to relate to others, to build an identity). This proximity, sometimes even this fusion, parent-child, will make separations of any order difficult. How to leave alone this parent who has built his life around you, who needs you, for whom the world sometimes stops during your absences. How to live happily, take pleasure outside the presence of his parent?
These children also find themselves emotionally dependent, they don’t know how to set limits for others, they don’t know how to assert themselves. They live with the fear of being rejected.
Difficult for the parent, trapped by his “too great”, “too strong” love, to assume his educational role. How to set rules, limits? How to frustrate, punish?… In short, accompany your child in life and towards autonomy, when the fear of losing your love horrifies you, paralyzes you.
These parents often end up resenting their children for breaking the harmony, for forcing them to scream. They sometimes reproach them for their investment, they demand reciprocity and they forget that parental love remains unconditional.
When parent-child separation did not occur during the developmental stages. It often occurs violently in adolescence and materializes in various but always violent forms: school failure, early sexual experiences, aggressiveness, anger, running away… and these leave deep wounds.
Feeling loved confers value on the child and this unconditional love is a wonderful gift for life. But, love becomes a drag when the child is the sole object of the parent’s affection!
Choose to “rebuild” your life
The terminology is not appropriate, I concede it to you, to rebuild one’s life means that one starts again from a blank page, that one erases, that one erases and that would then be to deny the child and past experiences.
The love you feel for your child will not suffer from your new affective life. Even if the current vocabulary does not bring any distinction to these loves: we love chocolate, Brussels sprouts, our children, our spouses….
The arrival of a new partner in your life will require a period of adaptation. The newcomer, the newcomer will in any case be an intruder, an intruder coming to break up the “little couple” that you formed. Often, he/she will also come to shatter the dreams and fantasies of reconstruction of the parental couple. (Children rarely have this dream, when the divorce is a result of abuse and significant family conflict)
Take the time to mourn your couple, the mourning period varies depending on the situation, the individual, from a few weeks to a few months, don’t worry. On the other hand, if beyond this period you still feel bad, consult!
Get out of the guilt of “breaking up the family” in the event of a divorce, of betraying the family of the deceased spouse, of betraying your children.
It’s undeniable, you will take time to heal your wounds of self-esteem, to regain confidence in yourself and in others.
Leave the pangs of the past (infidelity, jealousy, rejection, violence…) behind you. Put your limits to your ex-spouse, you do not need his blessing, nor that of your children to live a new emotional life.
Obviously, you encounter fears and fears, they are always to be questioned, because they send you back to your limiting beliefs, to parental messages….
Feel free to choose the emotional life that suits you!
Show your children that you have plans, goals, desires and desires. That this breakup, as hard as it is, has not destroyed you (you are his point of support, his compass, he will trust you if he feels you are solid).
If you opt to build a new family in your image, take the time to prepare the children, to agree on the role of each spouse.
The recomposed family is of variable geometry, each must get into the habit of thinking “individual” and “collective” according to the times of presence. The blended family can also provide support, love, protection and set an example of a harmonious and happy life as a couple for the children!
A child is never in love with his mom or his dad!