While pursuing my master’s in social work (MSW), one year ago I was working for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family self parenting Services. I still vividly recall a case of child abuse that was brought into the emergency shelter at night. I was the male children’s wing’s overnight shift worker.
Children’s Protective Services, (CPS), responded to an anonymous neighbor’s call reporting domestic violence. The three minor children living in the house are immediately taken into custody. CPS calls us and asks us to prepare ourselves for their arrival.
I struggle to stay awake so I open the door for the social worker. I see a young boy balance a toddler on his right hip and hold the hand of a crying boy, 3 or 4.
My coworker and the social worker discuss the case. She leads the children, who are exhausted, to a room at the back of shelter. A crib and bedding are brought in.
“Jason”, age 11, comforts his younger siblings with calm and weary words. He changes the diaper of his baby, then takes out his pocket to get bread for his younger brother.
- Poor kid. He is the one who takes care of him. He has been there and done that.
- It is a sad fact that without loving, nurturing, and secure parents, children will not survive.
Even if the person is a child
It’s difficult for therapists to understand the “not fair-this kid’s parentified as a 11-year-old!” mentality. To not find courage in chaos and to make him or others like him a victim is to be unable to see the good in them. There is a strong argument for victimhood. However, feeling sorry for someone doesn’t help them move on.
Good self parenting is when you have been taught how to be resilient, emotional intelligence (EQ), boundaries and the mechanics behind healthy relationships.
Bad self parenting is the news at 5 o’clock
Although I don’t know what happened to Jason or his siblings, I believe that their resilience and maturity helped them find a loving and stable home.
This article is meant to fill in the emotional gaps caused by parental mistakes
Caveat: Neglecting or abusing your children by not being a good parent is not something to dismiss. It should be explained to help you understand why you see the world differently and how you might feel, think and behave in that way. To fuel the therapeutic fire, I have included quotes from Sigmund Freud (aka the Father of Psychoanalysis), who is the parenting paradigm.
There is no other profession or relationship that can help people overcome the pull to relive their past (repetition comppulsion) or give them a new lease on life (pun intended, since boundaries).