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Reflections of a parent

Community Member

I gave you life ,but I cannot live it for you.

I can give you direction, but I cannot be there to lead you.

I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe .

I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.

I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.

I can offer advice, but I cannot accept it for you.

I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.

I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.

I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honour.

I can advise you about your friends, but I cannot choose them for you .

I can tell you about alcohol and drugs, but I cannot say "No" for you.

I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.

I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.

I  can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.

I can love you with unconditional love, all of my life........

and I will.

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hello July

And thank you!

Shelley xx

Community Member

Hi Shelley,

No problem , it comes from the heart and every parent can relate when we struggle with issues around our children but there is no greater love or sacrifice.


Community Member

Hello, i dont mean to be a downer on something parents might relate to and enjoy, but I will.

But in my situation it kinda makes me mad seeing such a nice vision when my parents want nothing to do with me, and my mother who I did so much for would choose my emotionally abusive controlling drug-taking father and his lifestyle over me,  the daughter who she's meant to love unconditionally. 

Dear Provisional.  I totally understand where you're coming from.  I had the problem of my mother bending over backwards for my brother who abused me whenever he liked.  You're right, our mother's are supposed to love their kids, unconditionally.  Unfortunately, some women are not born with the 'maternal' instinct that's supposed to be there.  I tried everything I could to win my mother's love, but she just wasn't able to return what I craved.  She has passed now and I've learnt to concentrate my feelings into helping others.  I get a real warm feeling from the friends I've made, I have no-one I could refer to as 'mother' but that doesn't matter.  My friends, with children, give me more 'love' than my mother even gave my brother.  I'm the lucky one, I no longer live in a situation where I'm vying for love, I'm accepted for who I am rather than what I came from.  Try to forgive your mum for not being able to love you as you want.  She married your dad, possibly he wasn't like that when they married.  She vowed to 'love, and cherish' till death.  She did not create the situation, she doesn't know how to change it, I'm sure she does love you, she's caught up in a situation she doesn't know how to change.  You can't change what's happened, neither can she.  You need to concentrate on your life, be there for her if she needs you, but if you can give friendship to someone who returns it, you'll be fulfilled. 

Channel your thoughts into being positive.  You have one life, don't waste it wishing for what can't be, for now.  You never know what the future holds.  If your mum ever needs you, be there, regardless. 

Community Member

Hi Provisional ,

This was not meant to glorify all parents , it is simply a poem.

I also came from a very distant and emotionally abusive alcoholic mother, who always reminded me that..... quote from her "I never wanted a daughter and I only ever wanted sons".

She always favoured my brother over me .....and never let me forget to, I was never good enough, not once in my whole life did she ever show me love or compassion or the slightest kindness and to "love me"...... never.

So I carry many scars from from childhood...but I have tried so hard never to make my own 4 children bear the brunt of her hatred, I have 2 sons and 2 daughters.

I always said I would never let my children feel the way I did growing up, to know a parent doesn't love or care for you.....is the ultimate betrayal, as your parents are supposed to, above all other people be there to love and support you unconditionally .

So at the end of the day, they are just words of a parent who is trying to be the best they can.




Dear Provisional. I really do feel for you. I was brought up in a family where love and support was neither mentioned or shown. Before my mum passed away from cancer when l was eighteen, l knew l had to tell her l loved her, before it was too late. It was the hardest thing to do. My situation is opposite way round, where my daughter has decided to turn her back on her whole family. We are desperate and distraught parents trying to figure out why. To this day there has been no given reason. I have jumped through hoops and back. We had a portable study constructed mad craned out in back yard purely for her year 11-12 studies, still paying off- forked out $7000 towards her 1st car, helped her get all of her hours up to enable her to go for her car licence, went to Centrelink and filled out all the necessary forms for her to get her own medicare card and apply for youth allowance ( little did l know she was using me to help pave her way in turning her back on me) . I applied for 3 different Uni on campus accommodations for her and even was willing to transfer my carers allowance over to her to help her out financially ( her sister has a disability) - that too backfired as she was declined so then l too was cut off from this payment . As far as your brother is concerned have u tried headspace or mental health at your local hospital? Unfortunately there seems to be a huge gap in the system  Your brother is at the age where he can legally make decisions for himself and to b admitted into mental health he would have to meet a certain criteria- sectioned- which l presume would b very detailed  Where your mother is concerned she might not see the downfalls because she is too close to the situation and is blindsighted. It is only those who r distant who can see it for what it is. I'm sure she loves you, but until she has a lightbulb moment not sure when things will turn around for you. I really hope they turn around for you sooner than later .