Benita French is an author and an expert at healing parental conditioning and childhood trauma.
From her experience, she has learnt that
most adult children (no matter their age)
are scared to stand up to their parents because they fear:
-That something bad might happen to their parents
-The parents’ feelings will be hurt which must mean they (the adult child) are a horrible person
-The parents will treat them like they are not welcome
-Their parents will bully them (perhaps more than they have experienced already)
-Losing money or assets that their parents are giving them or had ‘planned’ on giving them
-Losing the conveniences/ caregiving/ physical presence/ assistance that their parents give them, despite all the problems that come with it.
In her friend and family circle, with her students, with her client’s family and strangers in public,
Benita has observed the interaction between the child (adult) and parent:
-How long and how deeply the adult is affected by the negative words and actions of their parents, even if on some other level, they know them to be ridiculous and untrue.
-That no matter how ‘grown up’ the adult thinks they are, they are still behaving like a scared or misbehaved child around their parent.
-Regardless if the adult has more money or ‘status’ than their parents, if the adult has more qualifications than their parents, if the adult is more aware of the changes, problems and opportunities in the world compared to their parents, they will STILL behave as though their parent is God and they are less than.
All areas of life are negatively affected by your association with your dysfunctional parents
Not all parents are bad, this is true, however their numbers are few. These few encourage their children, believe in them, promote them, celebrate them, revere them, praise them and focus on them regularly, at least more regularly when compared to the vast majority of parents who are dysfunctional. Unfortunately, even ‘good’ parents are dysfunctional, just less so or seem so less obviously.
By associating with dysfunctional parents, these areas of life are negatively affected: relationships, finances, health, general wellbeing and happiness. Almost everybody on the planet are not aware of how their lives are negatively impacted by their association with their negative parents. Instead of letting it pass as something that wasn’t important, not that bad or something you shouldn’t complain about, you need to stand up to your parents by implementing boundaries.
Standing up to your parents does not have to mean
having a verbal or physical fight with them.
The nurturing from your dysfunctional parents always comes with strings attached. Even the ‘good’ parents, nurture their children (no matter their age) with strings attached. These strings or conditions are always enforced with subtle or direct forms of guilt and control. Do try to remember, that your feelings count too. Your time, your rest and your peace matter. What you need matters. Do all you can NOT to put the needs of your parents before yours.
What you suffered with your parents MATTERS
and comparison to those who suffered more is irrelevant
-You do not need to have been badly abused in order to feel that you deserve your boundaries to be respected by your parents.
-Your parents have no right to your life JUST because they are your parents.
-You do not owe anything to your parents.
-You do not exist to parent your parents.
-You do not exist to be their baby girl, their friend, their care giver, their life partner, their lackey, their disciple, their personal assistant, their taxi driver, their bank, their hotelier or concierge.
-You can develop the strength to handle the different ways that they bully you. Feel okay about contacting them less, for less time or see them less often or not at all.
You have a right to say NO to your parents regarding the following:
1 Attending family functions
2 Being a caregiver to their other children (your siblings or half siblings)
3 Being a caregiver to their partner (ie. your other parent or step parent)
4 Have them come over to your place
5 Give them access to your room/ your space your house/ your money/ your car/ other.
You have Benita’s permission to SAY NO to part or all of your parents requests or demands.
Correct parenting should be a one way street
Correct parenting should mean that the parent gives to the child, not and never the other way around.
The child, now an adult, may choose to view their parents as normal human beings who made mistakes, but who took care of them while they were a child and teenager. Past a certain age (or stage of life) the child, now an adult, may recognize that their parents are not ‘qualified’ to parent them any longer.
After several years of self healing, Benita came to recognize that her parents were not qualified to parent her
She did not want to admit it to herself but Benita realized that her parents were not adequately qualified to parent her. As a result, she implemented permanent boundaries with her parents and all family members. Life improved immensely for her on every level, with every reinforced boundary. Benita is happier and stronger than she ever thought possible. She finally felt deserving of the freedom, peace and privacy she always wanted- rights that her parents did not believe she should have.
Benita believes that you are strong enough to eventually implement boundaries with your negative, dysfunctional parents. She supports you 100%.