Are you still afraid about such feelings

At this point, it may be wise to stop and ask yourself some questions.

Are you still afraid that if you let a child of yours "go on" about such feelings they will increase?

Are you still afraid that if he brings such feelings out, he will have to carry them over into action?

You've heard now that neither of these things need happen. But, after all, you have heard the other side for many long years.

Haven't you been taught all your life that unpretty feelings are unacceptable? Weren't you taught very early specifically that hostile feelings and sex feelings in a child were especially unthinkable?

You can't expect yourself to get over your old feelings all at once. You'll probably wander back and forth between the old and the new many times.

You may hate to think, for instance, that any child of yours could have hidden resentment to a new baby beneath the sweetness he showed. One part of you protests. Another part says, "Yes, I feel that was true." And this part feels also that there was resentment aplenty to the new baby's mother. As one child put it, "She shouldn't have brought so much bother home from the hospital."

One part of you protests against the idea that your teenagers literally hate you at moments. Another part of you knows full well that this also happens.

One part of you blames yourself for it. Another part wisely counters that when your teen-agers were small you didn't know how to help them handle their feelings. It was natural, as a result, that anger against both the actual and fantasied "wrongs" should have piled up.

One part of you is still afraid to see these things come out into the open. The other part of you has courage enough to say, "Go ahead."

It's natural for resentment and anger to enter afresh into close relationships as life moves on. There are bound to be loving and hostile moments both between sisters and brothers, between husbands and wives, between parents and children.

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