All parents experience pain. It’s inevitable in any parent-child relationship because the child “needs” to behave according to his/her preference even though it conflicts with his/her parents’ needs.
I remember sometime ago when my teenage daughter, Christine, went home late at night in spite of my expressed restriction and “need” to protect her. I got mad! Unfortunately, I handled the conflict too emotionally and instinctively that I came across as a dictator. From thereon, I keep learning from mistakes and improving as a parent in pain myself.
Conflict is part of life and not necessarily bad in the parent-child relationship. It has the potential to strengthen the relationship or pull parent and child together into a closer union. Unfortunately, most parents try to resolve their conflicts with their children by using only two basic ways — being a “dictator” or being a “doormat.” Both of these are ineffective. They are damaging to the child as well as the relationship.
Perhaps by having a credential of being a recovering “wounded child” and “parent in pain” myself, I could help more parents and children go together in genuine friendship and respect. Not just in theory or clinical perspective, but in “experienced reality” as well. That is my hope.