Why do children need to rebel?
Do they need to rebel or can they develop without rebelling?
"Every child has to break some rules to keep evolving" (Bert Hellinger)
I highlighted this sentence in his book, Acknowledging What Is, a few years ago, but the truth is I didn't really understand what it meant to "break some rules" nor was it truly clear to me who is that child and how old he or she was.
This week, following a constellation session in which I was the issue holder (yes, I use the method for my own healing as well), I gained a new understanding of this quote.
What Hellinger is actually saying is that we need to break the rules of our ancestry. We need to step away from it, to part with it in order to find out who we are.
What does it mean to break the rules of our ancestry? What does it mean to part with it?
We are the children of our parents and grandchildren of our grandparents.
As such, we carry their emotional, mental, cognitive and physiological baggage.
When my oldest son was born, my father immediately said he got his grandfather's eyes.
This is a physiological-genetic expression of the baggage he carries from his ancestry.
Hellinger added: "Each time a child breaks the rules, their sense of self is reinforced, and their relationship with their parents is given a whole new meaning, on a different level."
What does it mean to break the rules?
When we tell a child to get back from a party at midnight and they come home at 4:00 am, when we tell them to do their homework and they don't – this is mere practical rule breaking.
After my session, I was able to see the spiritual, emotional and hidden elements of family rules, which are: norms, family culture, beliefs (overt and hidden) and patterns of behavior.
I understand that every time a child breaks these family rules, they discover more of themselves.
In this process of discovery, they may be more themselves, and choose for themselves what to remain loyal to from their ancestry and what to let go of, and so their connection with their parents, with their ancestry and with themselves takes on a new meaning.
Now I understand that by "child" Hellinger meant each and every one of us, whether it's a 10-year-old who refuses to do their homework, a 25-year-old who refuses to get a college degree even though everyone in the family has one, or me, a 44-year-old who wants to take a different path from the one my ancestors took.
But it's not simple, and it's definitely not easy.
Our family rules keep us connected with our family lineage. It's a connection for which we feel a need from deep within our soul, even if we feel upset and dislike our lineage.
Therefore, breaking your family's rules requires courage. Courage to act with your heart and contrary to your ancestry. Courage to act for your own benefit, for yourself.
Back to Hellinger and his teachings, I can now understand that this is the way to connect with ourselves.
When you change – your lineage changes, your dialogue with it changes together with its degree of impact on you.
We're not talking about breaking apart, but about development - personal and family development.
And rebelling is one way to achieve that.