Advice for Parents

By David Stocks on May 07, 2011

The attention given to a younger brother or sister can prompt a young child to wonder whether he is still loved by his parents. If something happens to “prove” they don’t love him, then that child will sometimes suffer problems for the rest of his or her life. To the parent, the actual event may seem trivial.

Almost every day I meet clients, often middle-aged, who are suffering from unexplained anxiety and who don’t feel as close to a parent as they feel they would wish. Under hypnosis they frequently reveal that an incident took place, often when they were about six, which has caused their current problems.

A real example is the story of a woman over 50. (She trained with me so she won’t mind me telling her story.) She had always felt a barrier between her and her mother, and the older she got the more this played on her mind. She and her sister are also highly competitive.

She and her little sister were playing at cutting out shapes when she was 6. She was jealous of the 3 year old, and feeling worried about the amount of attention her sister was getting. By accident the wee one cut her big sister’s finger quite badly. You can picture the scene – Mum panicking, both girls screaming – Dad coming to the rescue and taking her to A&E.

To that 6 year old, though, what actually happened was that her wee sister had tried to cut her finger off. And what happened? Her Dad took care of her fine, but her Mum cuddled the wee sister even after what she’d done!!! Mum didn’t even love her enough to come to the hospital!!!

Most of us remember injustices when we were young, such as getting a row “for doing nothing”. These can really have quite an effect on us. We all know that parents can make mistakes; can take things for granted. However, it is important to sit down with young children and talk to them. Choose a time when things are calm and peaceful. Explain that you love all your children just the same, and that sometimes you will make mistakes and blame one for the other’s misdemeanours.

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