When we are little kids, we look up to our parents for everything. Not only do we depend on them to meet our basic needs, but we tend to idealize them and see them as perfect and never failing. When we are little, it seems as if our parents always have the answer, or always know what to do to make things better. In most cases, they are there to fix things for us and protect us when needed, they are our “go-to's” for all the things we need solved in the world.
For the first eighteen –or-so years of our lives, they have a lot of power and say. They often support us financially and emotionally, care for us, drive us around, set the rules for us and look out for our well-being. They serve a very active and functional part in our lives, and we feel their presence. However as we grow older and move into adulthood ourselves, an interesting shift can happen in our relationship with our parents. Instead of these perfect beings that know how to do everything, we begin to recognize in our parents their own flaws, shortcomings, and insecurities. Rationally maybe we always knew these existed, but with our own development we can start to recognize that perhaps our parents were not always what we needed them to be, and were not always able to meet our needs, despite their best efforts to do so.
Often this realization can be very painful, as there can be wounds present from breaches we have had with our parents. Acknowledging our hurt can perhaps bring about feelings like anger and sadness, or maybe even guilt for having these thoughts about our parents, who have done a lot for us in most cases. Although we cannot right our parent’s wrongs, or make them understand the ways they may have hurt us in the past; we can learn to heal and see them and love them for the flawed human beings they are. Through this process of healing, we can become more aware of our own needs and in turn learn more about our parents, where they came from, and how they have come to be the people that they are.