Are You Addicted to Your Children?

Is it possible to be using our children addictively?

Anything that we use to get love, avoid pain, and fill up inner emptiness can become an addiction ? even our children! If your children are your whole life ? if you don't have a strong spiritual connection with a personal source of love and guidance, as well as other relationships and interests that you are passionate about, you might be using your children to fill an empty place within you.

If you don't have a partner or your relationship with your partner is not fulfilling to you, and you don't have deeply connected and meaningful friendships, then you might be using your kids as your major emotional connection. If you don't have hobbies or work that are compelling and fulfilling to you, you might be using your children to give meaning to your life. If you don't have a daily spiritual practice that brings love and comfort to your soul, you might be using your children to fill this need.

If this is what you are doing, it is not good for your children. It is a huge burden on children to be responsible for their parent's loneliness and sense of purpose. Children who feel this responsibility often become caretakers, giving themselves up to take care of a parent. On the other hand, a child burdened with this responsibility may rebel and distance from the parent, spending less and less time at home to avoid the burden of the parent's emptiness.

I grew up as an only child with a mother who had nothing fulfilling in her life ? other than me. Her whole focus was on me, and because I couldn't possibly fill her up in the way she needed to be filled, she was often angry at me. I became a good little girl, a good caretaker of my mother, but the result was that I was a nervous and unhappy child, and wanted to be away from my house as much as possible.

Our children need to be a part of our life, not our whole life. We need to role-model for them what it looks like to take personal responsibility for filling ourselves up. We need to show them what it looks like to take responsibility for making ourselves happy, rather than rely on them for our happiness. Your children want to know that they are important to you, but not so important that your well-being is dependent upon them. You might want to explore the following questions to see if you may be using your children addictively:

  • Do you have a solid spiritual practice that fills you with a sense of peace and gives meaning to your life?

  • Are you expressing your particular talents in a way that feels meaningful and productive to you and gives you a sense of fulfillment?

  • Do you have fulfilling emotional connections with other adults ? a partner, other family members or friends?

If you answered "yes" to these, then you are probably not using your children addictively.

  • Do you feel bored and useless when your children are not around? Is it your children that give your life meaning?

  • Is your sense of worth attached to your children's achievements? Do you tend to take it personally if one of your children has a problem?

  • Are you over-involved in your children's lives?

  • Are you overly sensitive if one of our children is angry or distant? Do you find yourself trying to pacify your children rather than set appropriate limits in order to avoid their rejection?

  • Did you choose to have children to share the fullness of your love or did you have children in the hopes of getting love from them?

If you answered "yes" to one or more of these, then there is a good possibility that you are using your children addictively. If this is the case, the best thing you can do for you and your children is to move yourself toward a solid spiritual practice, look for meaningful ways of expressing your talents, and develop emotional connection and support from other adults.

About The Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:[email protected]. Phone sessions available.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Washington Post

Invisible discipline: How do you know if a parenting strategy works ...
Washington Post
An excerpt from her new book: The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever — And What to Do About It.
Shocking new idea in parenting: Let kids be kids - Lowell Sun OnlineLowell Sun

all 3 news articles »

Bedford + Bowery

Juno Director Jason Reitman Tackles the 'Very Taboo' Subject of Parenting in Tully
Bedford + Bowery
Eleven years after his zany teen pregnancy screwball — a little film called Juno — Jason Reitman is back with a new kind of motherhood comedy. Tully may be less indie-music-infused than its Ellen Page-starring forerunner, but don't be fooled: this ...


Washington Times

How the New 'God of War' Game Was Inspired by Real-Life Parenting Challenges
TIME
But he also gleaned some important ideas about how to build Kratos' character by observing the ways in which his wife manages parenting's many challenges. Barlog points to one story in particular that provided a breakthrough for developing the right ...
'God of War' review: Papa Kratos learns parenting not for faint-heartedWashington Times
God of War and Yakuza 6 show how games can tell great stories about parentsThe Verge

all 553 news articles »

Wall Street Journal (blog)

Hack 'n' Slash Meets Parenting in Sony's 'God of War' Reboot
Wall Street Journal (blog)
Rebooting a successful videogame franchise is risky—how does a studio hold on to its existing fan base, while at the same time appealing to a new audience? WSJ's Mark Kelly visits Santa Monica Studio to meet the creators of “God of War.” Image: SIE ...


Slate Magazine

Parenting advice about baby talk and horses. And barfing.
Slate Magazine
Care and Feeding is Slate's parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Email [email protected] Dear Care and Feeding,. This is a bit gross so read at your own risk. My kid is 15 months old and has discovered he can make ...

and more »

Military Times

Parenting in uniform: Don't let baby break the bank
Military Times
From diapers to formula to car seats to clothing, the dollars add up fast when it comes to newborns, and the parents' budget can take a big hit. And it's not just expenses: A major financial consideration is the potential drop in income when a spouse ...


Variety

'Tully's' Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody on Normalizing the Dark Side of Parenting
Variety
People are quick to paint parenthood as a paradise, said “Tully” director Jason Reitman. But fewer people discuss the utter fear and exhaustion that accompany caring for living, breathing children. “It's scary to be a first-time parent,” Reitman told ...
'Tully' film cast, crew talk parentingNEWS.com.au
Charlize Theron Reveals 'Very Long Journey' to Lose 50 Pounds Packed on for 'Tully' (Exclusive)Entertainment Tonight

all 124 news articles »

Parenting expo at Lincolnshire library
Chicago Daily Herald
The Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire hosts a Bump to Baby Expo for new and expecting parents from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the library, 300 Olde Half Day Road. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Twenty ...


NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Parenting Law Coming to Texas?
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Life in the Barbara house in Double Oak, moves at one speed. Parents Shawnti and Brian Barbara have kids who are 3, 7, 9 and 12 years old. The parents are simply numbered, but it's also just the way they want it. "Our kids are free to explore," said ...


The Southside Messenger

Parenting Children from Hard Places
The Southside Messenger
Dr. Karyn Purvis and her team at Texas Christian University developed a parenting model called Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Extensive attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research supports this parenting model. TBRI is an ...

Google News

Top 50 Father Quotations

"The greatest gift I ever had Came from God, and... Read More

Blended Families Can Be Successful

Many families today are blending members from past relationships. It... Read More

6 Signs You?re A High Maintenance Parent

The children of Baby Boomers, the Echo Generation, are entering... Read More

Adderall and Its Side-Effects

Adderall is a stimulant medication used in the treatment of... Read More

Why Wont My Teens Clean Their Room?

Have you ever had this struggle with your teens? Did... Read More

Organizing a Car Wash Fundraiser

The key to a successful car wash fundraiser event is... Read More

Cyber Parenting 101

Many parental units are not "techies" and openly admit they... Read More

The Importance of Mothers

Moms, did you ever question your value as a role... Read More

COMMITMENT: Teaching Children the Lessons of a Lifetime

It's been said, time and again, that for a child... Read More

Managing Your Stepfamily

If you are a member of a stepfamily, you know... Read More

Top Seven Tips To Become A Good Stepmother

Becoming a stepmother can undoubtedly be one of the most... Read More

Fundraising For Your Preschool Or Daycare Center

Most day cares are non-profit organizations that must operate within... Read More

Dealing with Lying: The Dos and Donts

Jason Roberts listened to his son's explanation of the missing... Read More

How to Handle Child Tantrums?

Child tantrums are a way for children to express their... Read More

Creating Great Birthday Party Videos

My son recently had his third birthday party and it... Read More

The Metamorphosis of The Brain: Raising Your child to be a Brainiac

The human brain never actually stops developing. Beginning formation in... Read More

Whats in a Name?

My cousin boasts five names and I confess that when... Read More

Empty Nest Syndrome

Paula's last child had just gone off to college and... Read More

How Kids Learn To Cooperate In Video Games -- A Guide for Parents and Teachers

A great many parents are concerned that the electronic games... Read More

One Definition of Success

As parents, we want our children and teens to grow... Read More

Picky Eater Syndrome

'Picky Eater' is a label coined to describe the phenomenon... Read More

Give Your Child the Gift of Self-Esteem

Much has been said about the "gifted child" but in... Read More

Why Fathers Are Such a Necessary Component in the Raising of Their Children.

The first year of a child's life is the most... Read More

Confident Kids : Why Some Parents Should Carry a Health Warning

As a hypnotherapist, I am acutely aware of the power... Read More

Best Investment

Every week I write something about the stock market -... Read More