People often have different perspectives to the same incident or event. Many times our perspective defines how we respond to a particular situation. To provide clarity to this thought, I am sharing a remarkable story a friend shared about an experience with his daughter:
A father and his eight year old daughter were on a hike. Even though the hike was not overly difficult, there was a stretch of extensive climbing. After climbing awhile, the daughter started to repeatedly ask the typical childlike questions: “how much farther?” and “are we there yet?” After hearing this a few times, the father stopped, pointed to the horizon and said to his daughter “we are going to that big rock.” His daughter said, “Dad, I don’t see the rock.” He made several attempts at helping her locate the rock on the horizon. Each time his daughter said “Daddy, I don’t see the rock.” Finally, he kneeled down next to her to point out the rock and he discovered he couldn’t see it. The change in the slope of the landscape combined with his daughter’s height prevented her from seeing the rock from her perspective. It wasn’t until he realized what his daughter saw from her perspective was he able to realize why she was struggling to see what was so obvious to him.
When I was in rescue mode with my son, I held on to one perspective that was neither helpful to me or him. Even though he was an adult, I looked upon him as my little boy. Every time something would happen, the father in me would swoop in to help my son. In doing so, I was not empowering him to be the man he needed to be with his addiction. Even when I would share his age to others, it rarely registered with me that I was declaring him a man in his mid-twenties, because I still saw him as a boy in his early adolescence.
It wasn’t until I came to grips with the reality that my son was a man did I begin to treat him differently. He may be lost or confused, but he was not helpless. He may need my advice or encouragement, but he that doesn’t mean I need to save or rescue him. When I would intervene and take control of addiction related situation, I was essentially telling my son that I didn’t believe or trust in his ability to work through his problem. What kind of an inspirational, empowering message am I sending to my son if I don’t believe he can figure it out for himself?
Take a moment to picture your child – what do you see? Do you see a little one in need of your love and support? Do you see someone who needs to be rescued? Do you see a little child that you need to kneel down in order to help them see the path they need to take?
If your child is not a child, the best gift you can give you and your loved one is your change of perspective. See what you are supposed to see, instead of what you are imagining. Turn over authority for their choices to them, where it belongs. And, let go of trying to manage something that causes you much pain and frustration. God gives each of us the power of choice for a reason. Who are we to deny that same responsibilities to our children?
Is your child addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you trapped on the emotional rollercoaster of addiction? Dave Cooke can help. He’s an internationally recognized speaker who has made it his commitment to minister to parents struggling with addiction in their families. Let him share with you how to create an action plan that will move you, your family, and your addicted child in a healthier direction. Contact Dave today to book him to speak at your church, parent’s group, business organization, or neighborhood association. Go to http://www.100pedals.com/speaker-dave-cooke/ for more information or email dave@100Pedals.com.
Are you on Dave’s email list? If you’d like to receive his monthly newsletter for the parents of addicted children and weekly blog post notifications, complete your request here.