Overcoming the Need to Manipulate

The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence by Dr. Robert Anthony

“Your entire childhood was spent developing skills that would make a good impression on others and influence them to pay attention to you. Thus, even at this early point in your life, you were programming yourself to depend on other people’s approval and to feel rejected when others disapproved. As a child, behavior like this was excusable, but as an adult, it is self-defeating. If you are still trying to manipulate others to do that which you are sufficiently capable of doing yourself, you cannot consider yourself emotionally mature.

A growing habit in our culture is to do more and more for our children and expect less and less. Parents guilty of this are unwittingly cheating their offspring by allowing them to be dependent for things they should be doing themselves. By spending the first eighteen years leaning and depending on others, children are cast in the role of prisoners with good behavior privileges.”

The greatest gift a parent can give their children is to help them to become self-confident by making them self-reliant. Children should be given as much responsibility as they can handle at any age level. Only through independence will they learn the joy and privilege and human dignity of standing on their own two feet.

It is a basic responsibility of parents to assist children in making a smooth transition from dependency to self-reliance. Children should be allowed to make and learn from their mistakes. If not, it is a small wonder that, later in life, when they must do something on their own, they say, “I can’t do it!” Unless they are sure of the outcome, they refuse to attempt anything because overprotective parents have always cushioned the way.”

 

ACTION STEP FOR TODAY:

How were your parents?

If you are a parent, how are you?

Quotes from: Dr. Robert Anthony, The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence (New York: The Penguin Group, 1979), pages 17-18.

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