These decisions about the future and its implications, which are made for us and which we have not chosen, are an order or precept that the parents say explicitly.
We must accept our children unconditionally, without any kind of condition or blackmail. Photo: Shutterstock.
All parents seek the greatest and best benefits for their children, they visualize them in places that they did not reach or would like to, but visualizing and influences are different things, many choose conditioning to guide their little ones, which psychologists call , -family mandates- this is what Rafael Guerrero postulates, a graduate in psychology clinic, in the article published in the newspaper El País.
“When you are older, you will have to study hard to be a great doctor like your father and grandfather”, “My son Carlos has been a member of Atlético de Madrid since the day he was born”, “Maria, never show yourself vulnerable in front of others, it will not bring you anything good.” These and many other phrases pronounced by fathers and mothers to their children are frequently heard in different contexts.
A -family mandate- is an order or precept that parents say explicitly to their children or act implicitly. They refer to their children, to others or to the world in general. Therefore, the mandates are decisions that they make for their children and that they do not choose.
Why as soon as your son is born you make him a member of Atleti?
Why do you want your son to be a great doctor?
Just because you and your father were?
Perhaps for the opposite?
Was your profession frustrated and do you want your son to do what you were not able to do?
In all these cases, the opinion, emotions, feelings and inclinations of the children are left aside.
They do it in a tremendously selfish way with them and completely annul it. “What does it matter what my children want and can choose? I want the best for them and that’s why I choose instead.” Nobody doubts that this father or this mother wants the best for his/her child, but they are doing it wrong. Very bad.
Why don’t we let the children make their own decisions?
“I think that what you should study is…”, “In your place, I would do…”.
Mandates are orders or instructions that are passed from generation to generation. In your case, can you think of a mandate common to several past generations? Surely yes. How has it influenced your life? Has it been for better or for worse? The mandates are transgenerational and it is very difficult to break free from them.
The fact that we rationally know the mandates that our parents have transmitted to us is not a sufficient condition to be able to abandon it.
The reason is that they have a high emotional charge. To be able to do it, I first have to be aware that this is a mandate and it is not something that I have chosen, but that it has been imposed.
Some examples of mandates that our parents transmit to us or have transmitted to us are “don’t get over me”, “be strong”, “don’t behave like a child”, “be perfect”, “don’t be well”, “don’t grow up”, “do not belong to any group”, etc. But positive mandates, called permissions, are also given: “you can make a mistake”, “you’re fine”, “I love you and I like you”, etc.
We must accept our children unconditionally, without any kind of condition or blackmail.
On many occasions, I receive consultations with parents who are overwhelmed with the situation or problem that their children are experiencing.
But it turns out that their children are even more stressed than their parents. The schedule that a child has today is tremendously exorbitant. He spends about eight hours at school with a not insignificant demand; in the afternoon they play extracurriculars, homework, study for exams, shower, dinner and bed.
It is curious when we investigate the reasons why children attend certain extracurricular activities. Many children attend 3-4 after-school classes, if not more. Once I asked a mother the reason for so many extracurricular activities and she answered me the following:
“Juan goes to English because it is the language of the future; to study techniques so that he does not relax; to soccer because his father would be very excited if he were a soccer player; and to Music because they say that he tames the beasts”. And I wonder, the child who paints in all this? Any. He hasn’t even been given a chance to decide. Poor Juan goes from class to class without having decided anything about it and tremendously unmotivated.
On another occasion I was surprised when some parents told me that their daughter was going to remedial math classes. My surprise was because she was a hardworking girl and she always passed everything, including Maths.
The reason why the girl went to reinforcement classes was because her mother always dragged Mathematics to school when she went to school and failed them. As a result of her mother’s fear, they decided to target her. We all want the best for our children, but we must be aware that sometimes we make decisions for them but with ourselves in mind.
Of course reinforcement is fine, but when necessary. If we apply the “prevention is better than cure” to the letter, all children should go to French classes in case France decides to invade us in a few years.
For all these reasons, I always defend that we must accept our children unconditionally, without any kind of condition or blackmail. I mean, I don’t love you for what you do or don’t do, but for who you are. You are my son and, whatever you do, I will love you just the same. You don’t get points for him to love you more or less.
My support and my unconditional love do not depend on anything, they are unconditional. It depends on whether you exist. It is common to find parents who give excessive importance to the academic field.
If I am constantly protecting my children, the command that I am implicitly showing them is “you are not capable”.
In their impetus for them to be excellent doctors, businessmen, lawyers or architects, they condition their signs of love towards their children: “If you meet my expectations or my mandate (approve everything), you have my love.”
But, what happens if the child does not meet the expectation of his father or mother? Well, the father stops showing his support and this turns into “I don’t want to talk to you, I feel disappointed”, “I didn’t expect this from you” or “go to your room”.
Therefore, it is a conditional support. To what? For the child to meet my expectations. And if the child thinks of asking his father or mother to hug him because he needs it, the father denies it “because I am very angry with you.”
Why is all this happening? Among other things, because we are only interested in cultivating the intellectual and cognitive environment of our children, leaving aside the more emotional aspects. Do you know what is the factor that best predicts the quality of life of our children? The self-esteem. And as I often comment, self-esteem is not something that is genetically encoded on the short arm of chromosome 4.
Not even on chromosome 17 or 20. Self-esteem is something that is worked on and filled at home. If we as parents don’t trust our children, who will? For all these reasons, it is of vital importance for our children that we accept them and look at them unconditionally.
And to conclude, I warn again about the terrible consequences that overprotection has on our children. If I tend to do everything for him and avoid frustrations and disappointments, he will never learn to manage himself.
We began the article talking about family mandates. If I am constantly protecting my children and do not let them measure themselves and experiment in different situations, the mandate that I am implicitly showing them is “you are not capable”. And this has direct and negative consequences on the self-esteem of our children.
For all this, let us be aware of the mandates that we carry from generations prior to ours and that we are passing on to our children. Let them do things for themselves and accept your children unconditionally. They deserve it.
Source consulted here.