We tend to realize that addiction is a problem when we live it or we are involved … when we relate it to real or potential suffering. But is it possible to educate to avoid emotional dependence? Can we prevent toxic relationships since education?
Human beings are dependent. We are born addicted. However, emotional dependence is a psychological state that is a great source of discomfort for those who live it. As social beings, we need each other. We seek contact, cooperation and exchange. We unite and build. However, this does not always happen like this: sometimes we get to know someone and, while understanding that the relationship is destroying us, we feel the need to maintain it.
Who told you that your personality was not incomplete?
Means of communication, games, questions missed, folk tales, traditions, little thoughtful advice … They leave no doubt: we must establish a love relationship to feel complete and complete. How to do otherwise?
It's no secret that we live in a society that, more or less consciously, strengthens dependency relationships, disfiguring the ultimate meaning of a relationship: that of sharing and complementing oneself by love and not by necessity. Unfortunately, we tend to want to avoid emotional dependence when we suffer, or have suffered, or when we are seeing those we love suffering.
The role of education to avoid emotional dependence
The models and experiences we have received in early childhood serve as a reference to avoid the world and relationships. A child who has not learned to receive affection in a proper way for himself and those around him, may feel a little lost in this area as an adult and continue to try to get it in a way awkward. In the same way, it is likely that children who grow up with parents who know how to control, manage and talk about their emotions end up being much more in this area.
In this sense, educate to avoid emotional dependence is, in addition to healthy, possible. To claim that children become independent adults is unrealistic if they are not encouraged to do so. When a baby is born, his addiction is total. However, the gradual autonomy he will acquire will depend on his education.
How to educate to avoid emotional dependence?
Psychoanalyst John Bowlby has put the theory of attachment to explain the emotional connection that is created between the baby and his parents. This author argued that a form of attachment begins to form during childhood, but that this training continues throughout life. Of course, the kind of attachment that small and small people weave with their reference people will, in a way, be the basis of their emotional development.
Therefore, promoting a secure attachment in early childhood will be the key to avoiding toxic relationships generated by the addiction. This emotional bond will be the place where children will learn that exploring the world and its subtleties is compatible with the feeling of love, trust and security of their parents.
A few Guidelines for Educating Resilient Children and Avoiding Emotional Dependence:
- Demonstrate affection. Words lovingly express words and gestures of love to children make them feel loved. Only in this way will they be able to explore knowing that they have a refuge to protect themselves if they need it.
- Express emotions Expressing how we feel and why we feel it allows children to develop empathy. In addition, they understand that emotions are human and that nothing happens when you feel sad or angry. Identifying how he feels will allow for greater self-awareness, as well as better modulating behaviors. Far from what has been thought for decades, children's success is conditioned more by their emotional intelligence than by their intellectual capacity.
- Be available. There is no point in spending a lot of time with children if you do not play with them or if you do not pay attention to their needs. Children should know that their parents are there (even if they are not) and that they are sensitive to their needs.
- Promote autonomy and decision-making. Encouraging children to make their own decisions allows them to trust their own criteria. Stimulating their curiosity and resolving conflicts makes them more capable and confident.
- Ensure security and confidence. When we reward their progress and support them in new projects, they develop a positive image of themselves. This is the way we allow children to feel competent. In addition, when we accompany them in the falls and give them confidence to try again, we value values such as constancy or perseverance.
- Take care of yourself. Do not neglect to take care of children. It is necessary to find and transmit this balance, by showing them that it is they who must first be concerned to cover their own needs. It is not uncommon to observe parents who regularly give up their leisure time or their leisure time. We sometimes see guilt, as if leisure was incompatible with being good parents. It is essential to be aware of this. Different studies have confirmed that parents' emotional dependence on their children has negative effects that are difficult to reverse.
Therefore, while we understand that educators are the direct example for children, the importance of having good role models is obvious. If we are trying to educate children who will not be emotionally dependent, it would be good to start by educating children who know each other, love and value each other. Maybe we should know each other, love each other and value more (or better). It may be a good time to remember that we are capable, that we are not half of anything … because we are complete beings. Then, from there, we will be able to teach the difference between the need and the love … Thus complete, we will be more free.
"It's not that I want to be alone, because I still can not find anyone willing to take on the commitment to be free with me."