Have you ever felt like you can psycho-analyze other people really well? You know, like you can just pinpoint what their issue is. By seeing their behavior on the outside, you feel like you can guess what is going on in their head. Like this guy – he has low self-esteem – that’s why he keeps buying more clothes to try to look good and impress other people. Maybe you have seen other families on a reality show on TV and thought – wow they are so dysfunctional – they don’t know how to discipline their children. Maybe you are right. Maybe you are wrong. We all do it – sometimes it is just funny or silly.
But when we do, we are really simplifying life.
Think about it. When someone meets your family, they are going to observe just a brief moment with you, and they don’t know about all of the different relationships happening, the good times, and bad times. You are the only one who knows all of the intricate details about the relationship between you and your child. And inside you have many desires for them and worries about them. It is quite tough to step outside of your role as a parent and someone who cares so much to think about your child in a more removed way – like you might about someone else’s child.
This is why it can be totally normal to think, when a doctor tells you your child is depressed or anxious, to think, what? they don’t know my child or me, that’s not true. But if your child is depressed or anxious, then your family dynamic is your normal – and until your child gets treatment and you learn to develop a new normal – you might not be able to realize how depression or anxiety may be affecting your family life.
Try instead thinking, ok what is our life like now and how would I like it to be? Is there someone we can work with who could help us get there? Instead of thinking do I agree with them that my child is depressed? I don’t feel that way. What do they know?
Working WITH someone you trust – like a healthcare provider or therapist – can be so helpful. They have the eyes to look at your child from the outside. The more your child shares about what is going on with them on the inside and you share what it is like living with them in your family, the more the therapist can help. But for you to try to get outside of your family life to really take a removed look at your child can be very tough – without someone’s guidance.
Do you agree or disagree? Please let us know in the comments!