Unfortunately, this may well be the origin of problems in the future. This situation will give birth to the foundations of that relationship. Think of how you usually act around people whom you believe dislike you. Chances are that whatever goes on in that relationship will simply work against creating a deeper connection. And the same occurs with children. But children are naturally connected to their parents and they expect love from them. As kids grow old there is the chance that they exhibited challenging behaviours as an expression of their anger towards the parent’s inability to meet their expectation of love. The closest thing I can ascribe to is a complaint about their parenting. They want to show you that they need something different and they usually give you the chance throughout life. Work with children living in out of home care placements has thought me that despite the heavy childhood traumas, children still dream of mending their stories with their parents. So do not lose heart, the potential is great.

Resolving a strained relationship between parent and child may require therapy, but it is well worth the work. Remember this – the child has an internal desire to make this relationship work.


– Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness.  He offers parent coaching and social work sessions.  He can be contacted on steve@willingness.com.mt