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Hold me tight, Put me down, Leave me alone

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

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Someone nicely said that a child goes through three stages before he reaches adulthood: “Hold me tight, Put me down, Leave me alone.” Babies want to be held, toddlers want to be put down and explore on their own, and teenagers just want to be left alone! I was thinking that often this happens in love relationships also – the honeymoon phase (hold me tight), then wanting some space and independence (Put me Down, or ‘Let me Do it My Way’), and unfortunately in many cases if the relationship has not been nurtured over time, it becomes ‘Leave me Alone’.

Hold me tight, Put me down, Leave me alone

At the intellectual level we know that this could happen both to children and to our partners – but do we work on it practically, try to bring about better bonding? If we can anticipate that this is a natural progression of a relationship, there is a lot we can do to improve on it, and keep the warmth and togetherness alive. Becoming aware of the individuality of the other person, ensuring that we do not develop emotional dependency, resisting the desire to control – are some of the lessons we need to learn.

Regardless of which stage you or your child is in, do work on it. We should aim for a situation where our loved ones always love to be held tight by us. It takes some hard work, sacrifice, compromise, but it works in the long run.

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