Codependency is characterised by emotional dependencies in a relationship, to an extent that the giving is one-sided and so excessive that it hurts the giver. Codependency begins early with parents passing it unknowingly, despite best intentions.
- By being a super parent! You believe you know the best for your child and so it is you who will decide all aspects of your child’s life – right from planning her food to choice of friends, when to eat and what to wear, which hobby to choose and which colours look good. As they grow older they are likely to seek out relationships in which someone else has all the power and control.
- By going out of your way, sacrificing all your needs and desires, to ensure all your child’s needsand demands are met. You spend lunchtime fussing over your child’s food and stay hungry yourself, you go to buy that new toy by cancelling your doctor’s visit, you stop watching your favourite serial to ensure your child gets to see his. In life they will either seek relationships to dominate and control or grow to be “Mr. Pleaser” constantly needing others to approve of them.
- Be always there to solve problems for your child. You rush to scold the next-door neighbour who pushed your girl or pick a fight with the teacher who did not grade your child well or reach out to help even before your baby can try. This sends your child the message that they are not competent or responsible enough to figure out how to solve their problems and that someone else needs to do it for them. They will always seek relationships in life where another person will tell them what to do.
Codependents are usually nice individuals who are very stressed from carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are perceptive of others but not at all perceptive of themselves. Thus the challenge! Codependency usually gets disguised under the pretext of love and the virtue of sacrifice, and most often confused with Interdependency. However, unlike codependent families, where one person makes all the sacrifices even at the cost of their own happiness and dignity, interdependent families go out of their way for each. A member’s sacrifices are always respected and reciprocated in an interdependent family.
Therapy with codependents involves teaching self-care skills, and most importantly, convincing them that they are not selfish or in danger for choosing to take care of themselves. If you are codependent it is time to rise and love yourself. For your children will learn from what you do and not what you tell them.
Parent of Daanya Purohit
VIBGYOR High, Goregaon