My Ideal Parent

Written by Kathi Stringer

Shadowing and Darting Away

You would allow me to be close to you when I feel insecure. So that I know that I am loved when I feel frighten or helpless. In shadowing I could touch you to know that there is more then myself, and that you are an extension of me until I can grow into my own space. And then to test my limits of security, I may dart away only to be swooped up safely into your arms of peace and comfort. Yet, you do not engulf me and let me explore my world in the safety of your supervision. In shadowing and darting away I come to understand that there is stability in my life and that there is strength and protection beyond my own understanding. I feel loved and protected. I become confident and secure and curious about my new budding world about me. As time passes I am able to dart away in greater distances with security and confidence because of prior successes and familiar interaction with humanity, objects and things.

Separation-Individuation

During this development phase I take on the beginnings of being an individual and give up symbiosis and I test my surroundings as I separate into my own person. I watch your reactions when I connect to new experiences. I then take in your responses as a mirror refection of myself. This is how I get to know me a little better, through my reflection of you. As I become more individualized my new choices become more complicated and frightening at times. Yet you buffer my choices in the realm of your supervision and only allowing me choices that I am developmentally ready to make or accept. You acknowledge that as my own person, I grow developmentally different then others. In some places I may lag or accelerate depending on my own pace set to my personality and nature. Yet, because I am a beautiful child of the universe, I will continue to grow, when I am ready and my inner cup is filled with the needed ingredients. And because I am a developing individual, you do not compare me with other persons of my own age or likeness. You do not listen to peer pressure to contort my being, but rather instead allow our own personal experiences to shape my growth when I am ready, at my own rate. You give me time to develop into a wonderful loved human being so that I may find trust in the world.

The Good Enough Parent

Because you love me, you set a role model of me to follow. Since it is impracticable for you to be the perfect parent, you are by nature of love, the good-enough parent. At times when you slip or make mistakes, I notice the world is not perfect. It is these mistakes that prepare me for the real world of disappointments. I take them in one by one and give them meaning to shape my understanding of the world. Because you are the good-enough parent, I take on a realistic perception of my world around me. I learn how to enjoy the good moments and I learn how to prepare for disappointments.

Trust versus Mistrust

I learn about trust versus mistrust in that you show me the goodness of the world through your love to me. Through repetition of your loving good intentions I learn to trust and integrate a positive outlook of the world. You understand and endorse my primary need to be regarded and respected as the person I am at any given time, meaning my feeling of self, my core identity of emotions and sensations from my central sense of self. With trust you create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect so that I may develop in each phase and according to its own special ascendancy. You will not unconsciously assign roles for me to follow as a cathexis of your own unmet needs but rather allow me to bloom into the whole person I am.