Are You The Adult, Parent or Child

I was supposed to be in Dallas today at a coaching seminar. But, like everything else right now, it got cancelled.

While the rest of the world is talking about The Corona, I’m going to talk about your relationships.

Think about the relationships with people in your blended family.

In all of our relationships we either show up as an adult, a parent or a child.

Think about the definition of each.

Adult: a person who is fully grown or developed

Parent: a person who brings up or cares for another

Child: a young person especially between infancy and puberty.

These are all very factual descriptions of these titles.

Now think of the more subjective descriptions.

An adult is responsible, self-confident, open minded, dependable, even tempered, and self sufficient.

A parent is a caretaker of a child. Someone who guides, directs, protects, instructs and has empathy.

A child is forgiving, trusting, easily frustrated, quick-tempered, curious, easily discouraged but also determined, impulsive, needs to be taken care of.

There are many people we connect and socialize with in our lives; friends, family, spouse, and children.

Have you ever considered that you show up as either a parent, adult or a child in each of these relationships? I don’t mean literally, I just mean emotionally.

It’s so interesting to consider how you relate to people. You may be with a peer, or work colleague but be showing up as an emotional child. You may be needing them to show you how to do something or be kind to you so you can feel good about yourself.

You may be with your a friend and have them show up needing something emotionally from you so you become the “adult” in this situation.

It doesn’t really matter how you show up.

None of these titles is good or bad.

And I will guarantee that you are not always the adult or the parent.

I would bet that you often show up as a child, needing something from someone else, not physically in need, but emotionally in need.

You need someone to say just the right thing so you can feel confident that day.

Maybe you need someone to buy a product on your Etsy site so you can feel successful.

Perhaps you need your husband to compliment how you interact with one of his children so you can feel like a good stepmom.

Putting someone else in charge of how you feel about yourself is always showing up as a child.

Likewise, other people will either show up as a parent, child or adult to interact with you. Most adults don’t want to be parented or treated as children, but they may be showing up as an emotional child. It’s easy to fall into parent roll with them, maybe coddle them or give in to their impulses.

Maybe your friend is venting about a problem and you offer unsolicited advice that she isn’t looking for. You showed up as a parent that day.

Ideally, we would always show up as an adult: responsible, self-confident, open-minded, dependable, even-tempered, and self-sufficient.

In a perfect world, all adults would show up as adults, but that isn’t the case. You only have control of how you show up.

But it is probably less common to be the adult than anything else, and that’s ok. It’s just interesting to be curious why you have shown up as the child or the parent. Be curious as to what it is that you need.

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