Parenting, Day 10 – Fussy Parents Make Insecure Children

Parenting, Day 10 – Fussy Parents Make Insecure Children

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Mable couldn’t get a handle on her insecurity. Burdened by a failed marriage, teenage children in rebellion, and too many relational conflicts to count, she was frustrated, angry, and bewildered at how “the same old things keep happening to me.” Though she recognized she had a lifelong problem with anxiety, fear, and insecurity, she did not understand it or why it had such a stranglehold on her life.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).

As we began to chat, it quickly became apparent where her fear initially took a grip on her life. Mable was the product of parents who had an ongoing, unresolved conflict. Mable had fussy parents! Kids know they need their parents to protect them. Though they cannot articulate this truth, they can sense when things are not right in the home. When it does, they typically become afraid. I have heard many “adult children” talk about how their fussy parents left them feeling alone, vulnerable, and scared that something terrible was about to happen.

Because of their “Adamic wiring,” fear comes with the human package. Children will panic when bad things happen, particularly between the only two people in their world who could protect them. Mable said she panicked on the inside but had no one to share her fearful thoughts. She internalized them because her primary “protectors” were on the verge of a marital breakdown. She said there were many nights she would ball up and cry herself to sleep as she listened to the verbal sparring on the other side of her bedroom wall.

Her parents told her that no one in their church was ever to find out what was going on in the home. Mable kept her mouth shut, which only exacerbated the fear that was slowly sucking the life out of her. She lived with ever-present insecurity that one day she would come home only to find her parents gone. Because she could not understand her chaotic home life, she drew the worst kinds of conclusions about the problems in her family. Mable said most of their arguing was about money. Though it seemed like all roads led to an argument, it was money that kept coming up again and again.

After a while, she stopped asking her mom for things. Mable never said how badly she wanted what all her friends had whenever there was a new fad or fashion. Her mom never picked up on the knot in Mable’s soul that was twisting tighter and tighter. By the time Mable was a teen, she had begun to look for security through any means possible, though she did not dare to try out for anything like sports or cheerleading because her fear of failing was too intense.

Her avenue of “escape” was through boys, a path that was the total unraveling of her life. Her craving for protection and love was so intense that it blinded her to common sense she should have possessed. She knew all her boyfriends were using her, but she dismissed this because of her fifteen years of pent-up cravings for security that were uncontrollably lapping up any affection and approval she could find. She was easy picking, and she was glad. From her perspective, manipulating love from others was the path to freedom.

Time to Parent

Mable’s story is fictional, but it’s too true for many boys and girls. These young people are now adults, and the fallout still lingers in their souls and relationships. If you have a fussy home, you must repent right now. Do not delay.

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