[Written around 2005.]
Unconsciously most parents believe they own their children. Parents believe that because they have created their child this child is parental property. In reality, however, parents have it backwards: It is children who own their parents.
To grow strong, healthy, and fully emotionally mature, a child needs parents who are completely devoted to him. This is a parent’s primary responsibility in life. A child needs parents who care for him to the radical degree that they become essentially selfless – and yet, at the same time, have such strong and unwavering senses of who they are as individual adults that their connection with their emotional center is unwavering.
This is an almost impossible task for a parent, which is why few have any rightful business having children. Most parents have so many unresolved issues from their own semi-neglect-ridden childhoods that they themselves have failed to become anywhere near emotional adults. Secretly they want their own children to parent them. This directly contradicts their child’s needs, and their child suffers as a result.
But for a child to become a healthy adult, he cannot accept ownership of his parents for his whole life. At some point, he must free them from their psychic bondage and walk off on his own. He has to accept – and then declare – his own autonomy, and through his own newfound consciousness embody the role of parent for himself. Until he does he will always remain an emotional child, and unconsciously seek parental substitutes in all who come his way, including those children he himself creates.
But if his parents do their proper job, this struggle for autonomy will not be difficult. It will be organic and natural. No child wants to stay a child forever – and all the more so if he is nurtured properly. Adult autonomy is the goal of every child, and if his parents meet their responsibilities he will achieve it.