Good question. No! You can’t.
How could you be true to someone else when you don’t even know how to be true to yourself?
How can you love someone else when you don’t even have love for yourself? You CAN”T! If you think you do its only an illusion, or make-believe figment of your intellectual understanding. You just can’t afford to tell yourself you don’t love yourself and you certainly can’t be telling yourself you are not capable of ‘loving’ another person….how could you? You can’t/ Many people just ‘think’ they love someone else without being intellectually capable of admitting that they don’t.
When you are a child and you are ‘told’ that you should be ‘this’ or ‘that’, how can a child refuse to not go along with his parent’s or care-givers wishes?
Approval is very important to a child, maybe the only important thing to a child that he longs for. Certainly, if that child feels he may ‘not be approved’ if he does not go along with his parents wishes for him to ‘do something’ or ‘be something’, how much choice does that child have in reality?
I will use this example: You tell your male child they are going to be a ‘paperboy.’ A paperboy? what is that? the child asks. Mom tells him his older brother was a paperboy so he is going to be a paperboy too. Really Mom? Why do I have to be a paperboy other than my older brother being one?
I think many parents make the mistake of ‘telling’ their child what that child is going to do….and of course I am not talking about disobedience or respect of authority issues…I am referring to a parent believing that since that child is ‘my’ child he will do or be active in whatever ‘I’ see fit. Really?
First thing parents; that ‘child’ that you think is ‘yours’ is not ‘yours’ to decide what that child is going to be interested in or not. It is your God-given responsibility to find out from the child himself what ‘he’ would like to do or become. Upon receiving that information from your child directly, you can assist God Himself to nurture that child’s God-given purpose for him to be on this earth….and get this! Your child’s ‘self-esteem’ should be high enough that that child does not believe you will reject him if he doesn’t want to ‘do’ what you would like him to do.
So, it is more for you to be there when that child is telling you what he likes and dislikes, and what he would ‘like’ to do from what he would ‘not like’ to do. But again, if your child is ‘threatened’ by your approval or disapproval you should just back off and gain the child’s trust back. Shouldn’t you have the child’s best interest in mind? Shouldn’t you be able to admit you don’t know what his best interest is but you will help him to identify it?
Yes, you should always have your child’s best interest in mind, and the only way you can accomplish that is to show him that you are interested in what ‘he’ is interested in, and he trusts you that you have ‘his’ best interest in mind…. because, if you fail in this, your child will only be concerned with what pleases other people….and you will never have taught this child how to ‘seek within’ to identify very important things: what does he like and what doesn’t he like? Can you help him ‘clarify’ what he likes and dislikes?
Or are you always telling your child things like ‘I don’t care what you are interested in, you will do this’.
Yes, that child will do that but only because he fears losing your approval more than he is ‘being honest’ with you.
You want your child to start identifying from within and then be willing to assist him when he wants to do something, rather than telling him, ‘thats a stupid idea’ and it will cost too much for you to be in that.’ Rather than being willing to help him pursue what ‘is’ important to him.