Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mentally Healthy Parents

Mentally healthy parents don't intentionally do or say anything to hurt their child. Unbalanced, emotionally ill parents can and do.

Did you notice the word intentionally in that sentence? As sensible, stable parents, we might accidentally say a word or two to hurt a child’s self-image. Scary, isn’t it?

My dad had good qualities and was emotionally sound, but as an outspoken man, he habitually failed to overrule his outbursts. I can remember him praying, “Lord, help me control my temper.” But nothing changed. As a six year old, I recall thinking, “God isn’t strong enough to help my dad.”  Erroneous, right? The request taught me flawed thinking about God’s power. Perhaps my dad’s prayer should have been spoken silently—without young ears to hear.

A friend of mine has a father who told her, “I wish you’d never been born.” I’m not sure that guy is mentally healthy.

A mother told another friend, “You’re nothing but bad luck.” Wow! Even if the mom later apologized, and she did, the impression couldn’t be erased.

I believe the majority of people never plan to hurl damaging words to their child. Adults fling a phrases without a thought as to how a child will internalize it.  Children take things literally. The way we influence a child is a fearsome concern.

A parent who breaks a child's spirit gives birth to a child's disillusionment. Without intention, a parent can dig a hold too deep for a kid to crawl back to the surface.

Okay, folks, that’s my opinion for the day. I’m incorporating some of these thoughts of them into my latest Sarah story. In Sarah and the Magical Makeover, Sarah’s charge, Emily, has a cruel parent who gave her a flawed image of herself. Sarah has come to earth to help Emily eradicate herself from a lifetime of verbal abuse.

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14.

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