Are You Addicted to Your Children?

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Are You Addicted to Your Children?

By: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Is it possible to be using our children addictively?

Anything that we use to get love, avoid pain, and fill up inner emptiness can become an addiction - even our children! If your children are your whole life - if you don't have a strong spiritual connection with a personal source of love and guidance, as well as other relationships and interests that you are passionate about, you might be using your children to fill an empty place within you.

If you don't have a partner or your relationship with your partner is not fulfilling to you, and you don't have deeply connected and meaningful friendships, then you might be using your kids as your major emotional connection. If you don't have hobbies or work that are compelling and fulfilling to you, you might be using your children to give meaning to your life. If you don't have a daily spiritual practice that brings love and comfort to your soul, you might be using your children to fill this need.

If this is what you are doing, it is not good for your children. It is a huge burden on children to be responsible for their parent's loneliness and sense of purpose. Children who feel this responsibility often become caretakers, giving themselves up to take care of a parent. On the other hand, a child burdened with this responsibility may rebel and distance from the parent, spending less and less time at home to avoid the burden of the parent's emptiness.

I grew up as an only child with a mother who had nothing fulfilling in her life - other than me. Her whole focus was on me, and because I couldn't possibly fill her up in the way she needed to be filled, she was often angry at me. I became a good little girl, a good caretaker of my mother, but the result was that I was a nervous and unhappy child, and wanted to be away from my house as much as possible.

Our children need to be a part of our life, not our whole life. We need to role-model for them what it looks like to take personal responsibility for filling ourselves up. We need to show them what it looks like to take responsibility for making ourselves happy, rather than rely on them for our happiness. Your children want to know that they are important to you, but not so important that your well-being is dependent upon them. You might want to explore the following questions to see if you may be using your children addictively:

  • Do you have a solid spiritual practice that fills you with a sense of peace and gives meaning to your life?

  • Are you expressing your particular talents in a way that feels meaningful and productive to you and gives you a sense of fulfillment?

  • Do you have fulfilling emotional connections with other adults - a partner, other family members or friends?

If you answered " yes " to these, then you are probably not using your children addictively.

  • Do you feel bored and useless when your children are not around? Is it your children that give your life meaning?

  • Is your sense of worth attached to your children's achievements? Do you tend to take it personally if one of your children has a problem?

  • Are you over-involved in your children's lives?

  • Are you overly sensitive if one of our children is angry or distant? Do you find yourself trying to pacify your children rather than set appropriate limits in order to avoid their rejection?

  • Did you choose to have children to share the fullness of your love or did you have children in the hopes of getting love from them?

If you answered " yes " to one or more of these, then there is a good possibility that you are using your children addictively. If this is the case, the best thing you can do for you and your children is to move yourself toward a solid spiritual practice, look for meaningful ways of expressing your talents, and develop emotional connection and support from other adults.

About The Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: or Phone sessions available.


the mortician guy 27.10.2009. 17:33

Why does anyone in the world care about drug addicted child molesters like Michael Jackson? But if a drug addicted child molester moves into their neighborhood the whole town is in a tizzy?

the mortician guy

Admin 27.10.2009. 17:33

What is up with all these haters....I'm starting to think (NO-CLASS) brains....Maybe its possible that you all have been molested some point in your life, or know someone...then you have noone to take your anger out on except MJ. Mj IS INNOCENT. Leave the man alone, if you all are able to write these things, quit wasting your time....go do your homework on mj, I did, and he is still the same man he has been ALL his life, and I was just a little girl when thriller mania came out, so he has went through a bunch of bull#$$# all my years of growing.When he died, I became so upset, that I wanted to learn all the truths about him for myself, and I did extensive research. You will never find another heart so pure. You all should be ashamed of yourselves....He would NEVER harm a child.....maybe all you haters have so little doubt abut your own self, that you cant possible begin to find the truth in another...



silvermist185901 08.04.2011. 00:09

Can you help me find pictures for a presentation? Im looking for pictures of homeless people, families, troubled teens (pregnant, addicts),children (sad looking, hospitalized babies?) and some pictures of neighbors. But I cant seem to find any good ones can you help me?


Admin 08.04.2011. 00:09

Here's a picture of a homelss man:,r:0,s:0&tx=81&ty=58


Flouride 21.04.2012. 13:30

do parents of child stars exploit their kids and ruin them for life? do famous child actors/entertainers get forced into performing to make money for their parents or to vicariously satisfy their parents' ambitions? do they end up insane and troubled for life, growing up as criminals, drug addicts, child molesters or just plain nuts?


Admin 21.04.2012. 13:30

Yes, most child stars are forced into the industry by parents who use their children to achieve their failed dreams. In the case of Judith Barsi, who was a famous child star in the mid 1980's until her tragic murder aged 10 in 1988. Her notable roles would include Jaws: The Revenge and All Dogs Go To Heaven (she voiced Anne Marie). She was the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. Her mother Maria had a strong obsession to make her daughter into a star, so from age 2 she was groomed from an early age to become an actress.

Unfortunately her father Jozsef Barsi was abusive, paranoid, and a jealous alcoholic. He had some serious abandonment and self esteem issues starting from childhood when he was mocked and ridiculed by people for being an illegitimate child, especially without a father (in Hungarian culture having illegitimate children was wrong, same with my culture). His abusive and controlling behaviour was the reason why his first wife divorced and left him with their daughter (Judith's half sister).

Judith's home life was turbulent with abuse and violence, as a result she would pluck out her eye brows. However things took a turn for the worse, when before she left for the Bahamas for the shooting of Jaws: The Revenge, her father put a knife to her throat and told her that if her and her mother didn't return, he would cut her throat. He would routinely threaten to kill himself, his wife and daughter. When Judith broke down in front of her agent, her mother took her to a child psychologist, who took her case to Child Protection Services. After the shooting, Judith and her mom took refuge at her uncle's house, where her father tracked them down and forced them to return home. Despite her family's and friends' warnings, Maria obliged and returned home with him along with Judith. Child Protection Services dropped Judith's case when her mother assured them that she would divorce her husband. She refused to follow her promise as she knew that leaving her husband would involve going into hiding, giving up her dreams of Judith's stardom and losing all the rewards and belongings gained from Judith's career and income, like the house they lived in. On top of that Maria was unemployed. Her father killed Judith and her mother out of fear of being abandoned, like his father and first wife. On 25 July 1988, Judith was shot in the head while she slept, shortly afterwards Maria was also shot in the hallway when she was woken up by the gunshot. Jozsef poured petrol over their corpses and burned them. He wandered around the house for 2 days before his committed suicide.

What a sad and tragic end for a little girl, whose parents failed her. Her father abused and eventually killed her. Her selfish mother cared more about material possessions and her dreams of stardom, than her daughter's safety.

Drew Barrymore was pushed into stardom at 11 months. Acting has been in her family for generations, starting from her great grandparents. She eventually gained one of her most notable roles of her career, when she was Gertie in the blockbuster ET. Without parental guidance and love, her life spiralled out of control as she got older. She was a regular at Studio 54. She started smoking cigarettes at age 9, drinking alcohol at 11, smoking marijuana at 12, and snorting cocaine at 13.Her nightlife and constant partying became a popular subject with the media. She was in rehab at age 13 after an intervention initiated by her family. A suicide attempt at age 14 put her back in rehab, followed by a three-month stay with singer David Crosby and his wife. This is an unfortunate factor of being a child star, too much liberty. It was even reported that she allowed to have champagne during an ET celebration dinner party. Luckily today, she has turned her life around for the better, she's engaged and expecting her first child. She's also film director, screenwriter, producer and model.


Jana 21.04.2010. 01:24

What is it called when a woman is addicted to having children? You know those women who are addicted to having children, even when they can't look after all of them? What is that called, I know there is also something for women who are addicted to being pregnant/having babies. They suffer from anxiety attacks, and depression when they feel that they are not needed, and some even try to keep their kids from walking so that a high level of dependency on her is maintained. What is the official title given to this disorder?


Admin 21.04.2010. 01:24

Narcissistic personality Disorder: when you see others as an extension of yourself. The other is not allowed to operate independently or have their own ego- they are subsumed.

In the case of child abuse, the parent sees the child as an extension of themselves. If the child tries to have autonomy, the child is punished. Very sad. Also google the baby pageant Mothers.


Dave 09.09.2009. 18:07

Why people are good in giving nice advice and yet they are evil? Hello, this is what i've notice. Some people are good in outward appearance and they are also good advisor but if you will observe there life...oh men it's hell..They can't even control their pregnant and drug addict children, their cheating partners, their work attitude at the office and they can't even control their evil tonque. So do you think I should listen to this @!##!! kind of people.


Admin 09.09.2009. 18:07

i can control my spelling and grammar.


meddle80 09.02.2009. 04:18

What causes a mother to neglect children? i dont mean just the child abuse that is found in lower class trailors with meth addicts. but child neglect happens in so called good families who go to good schools. so what is it? do these kids grow up and acheive some or alot of sucess just by being around good families and schools and opportunities despite how evil the parents are and one day realized thta they never had a chance... it catches up to them?
is it a failure of a father? a narcissistic mother? a mother guilting their children for life until they kil themselves for the fathers lacking?
i think i have a bad COMBINATION of things in my parents total trainwreck of a marriage that they insist on beating and beating everything more and more.

my sister is a sociopath personality. DEEP seeded shit in the mother. and she caused me all kinds of hell but eventually was like crossing the streams in ghostbusters to my head. the father is a failure as a father and the mother perhaps does have traumatizing things from a child rape? but she is crazy as hell, narcissistic... too embarassed to get help or talk about anything.. she CANT let go.. i have never heard her breath easy. she is in politics now too!!! what a fucked up world/country. perhaps she had children or did one thing after another to counter the fathers failure(s) or further denial by not opening up to friends.. she has friends who is a female judge and all about flashing money. her kids are flat out evil shits.. they will walk into a room univited and break things and laugh. aunts, unclesand grandparents r bett


Admin 09.02.2009. 04:18

Your question is what causes a mother to neglect their children.Well some people in the world should ever be allowed to have children.In some cases the child has some one close to turn too,a aunt,a grandmother and the child will find the right way in life and grow to find that they are the stronger person.In other cases the low life parents are all the child has and is left with this life.Maybe the mother has some kind a mental illness that she is too ashamed to speak about or maybe doesn't realize what it is? Maybe she just a sorry excuse for a human being?No child should go through that,and there are numbers a child can call to get help for both him/or her-self and the parents or parent.They can start by talking to a counselor at school or a teacher.It is NEVER a child's fault for a father leaving,please remember that.


Joe Chemo 09.11.2012. 20:00

Do people who work for the tobacco industry deserve to be shot in the head for crimes against humanity? More specifically, for manufacturing an epidemic which kills a 9/11 worth of people every 4 hours - accomplished by targeting and addicting children and teenagers. They have already been convicted of being a criminal organization (RICO case:

I'm against capital punishment, but could we make an exception for callous, conniving, mass murdering drug pushers?

Joe Chemo

Admin 09.11.2012. 20:00

Boycott Greed INC,

The pusher is only half the equation,
the user is the other half.....

The issue is one of PUBLIC HEALTH, and should be addressed as such
how do you get a whole population un-addicted?

What if every smoker in AMERICA just up & quit today?
what would that do to Mega-Bux INC?

There are solutions to these problems that do not involve killing anybody.

There are changes happening .... slowly but surely,
tobacco free work-places are becoming more common,
& even some towns & cities have laws against smoking in various
public spaces.


A 13.05.2011. 00:04

What do you think about someone who abused their children being a social worker? My mother has recently qualified and works with children and families. She gets all outraged about drug addicts neglecting their children when she used to beat us all around the house for reasons such as not eating our dinner or making too much noise. I won't bore you with all the details of the rest of it.

She isn't a changed character either. She won't acknowledge the things she used to do.


Admin 13.05.2011. 00:04

Social workers and therapists are just people. There are good and bad people.

Five years ago, when my daughter was ten, a classmate tried to murder her. The classmate's mother made every excuse in the book for her daughter's attempt to choke my child to death.

Guess where the mother worked? CPS.

All the best.


Dani Jensen 17.09.2010. 11:02

What song are you currently addicted to? I'm addicted to Children of the Korn by KoRn


Even though there is rap in it (ice cube), it won't leave my brain alone

How about you?

Dani Jensen

Admin 17.09.2010. 11:02

Im addicted to On The Road Again by Wille Nelson Yup, Its some good ol country music I tell ya hwhat!


felicity t 09.08.2006. 22:20

What are the charges for women giving birth to meth addicted children in Tennessee? My husbands ex-wife has just had a baby and was addicted to meth. Will she lose that baby, and my husband has 2 other children with her that he has custody of she gets them every other weekend will she lose them to.

felicity t

Admin 09.08.2006. 22:20

If she gave birth to a meth addicted baby, I am sure that the doctors ordered a drug test. After that, social services will get involved and decide from there what is best for the child. If you know for a fact that this is true, and they do not pick up on it, then you need to call the number in your area for child abuse. The number should be in the government section of your phone book. Once they receive the report they will go to her house and check on her and her baby and they can have a drug test court ordered, and then decide what to do from there. If your husband wants her to not have custody, then he can go to the courts and plead his case and could possably win. In order for her to completely "lose" her kids I believe that she has to sign her rights over, unless the situation is bad enough, then I believe that they will give her a year in which to straighten up and get her child back, if she fails to do that then the courts can terminate her rights.


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