Problem Children, Problem Parents

Published on February 25, 2014

Parenthood in our society is more an idea of how to “raise kids.” There are problem children, but not problem parents. Yet the truth and reality of the matter is, parenthood needs to be more the growth and development of parents.

I’m reminded of a sobbing mother who came over because her teenage son has become suicidal and homicidal. She actively looked for new options and environments to change her child. But along the way, I presented the idea that she (along with the father) might be the one who should change first within her self rather than her son. Obviously, she felt “threatened” being told that.

We, parents, would be wise to realize that we can reduce (even remove) the number of unacceptable behaviors in our children. That becomes possible when we modify our selves so we become more “accepting” of them. We learn then not to depend on the kids to seek gratification of our own needs or see them as extensions of our selves.

Gibran phrased a relevant principle (applicable in clinical work with disturbed parents and children) beautifully in The Prophet:

“Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts … You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Family Problems, Parenting

Written by:

Dr. Angelo Subida, Psychotherapist

Dr. Angelo Subida is a clinical psychotherapist, author, and speaker. He is author of books "Inner Healing," "Secrets Of Your Self," "Chess and Life," among others, blogs, and articles. He has appeared frequently as an expert on psychotherapy/life recovery issues on national television, radio broadcasts, print media, and webcasts, including GMA 7, TV 5, ABS CBN 2, Q-11, 700 Club, Radyo Veritas, Inquirer Radio, Smart Parenting Magazine, Business Mirror, among others, and has served as resident therapist/counselor for parents and kid-artists in the highly popular ABS-CBN 2 Voice Kids TV singing reality show. Dr. Subida is an eclectic, multidisciplinary therapist and originator of his own revolutionary high-tech, high-touch counseling plus model. His areas of specialization include parent-child therapy, clinical infidelity treatment, relationship/marital counseling, separation/divorce therapy, anger management, depression, addictions, psychotherapy-spirituality integration, and innovative chess therapy. For more of Dr. Subida, you can find him at

Dr. Angelo Subida, Psychotherapist belongs to Dr. Angelo O. Subida Psychotherapy Clinic in Philippines

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