Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Last week, I wrote about how our five core needs are relevant to our Olympians. It’s been interesting to watch coverage and predict how some are meeting their needs.

What about the parents of the Olympians? What might happen if they try to meet their five core needs ONLY in being parents of these amazing athletes?

Security: Who can I trust? My son. He will win a medal.
Identity: Who am I? An Olympians Mom
Belonging: Who wants me? My son is glad I help him in so many ways. He’s glad I’m his mom. Even his teammates seem to enjoy having me around.
Purpose: Why am I alive? I support my son. I sacrifice for him so his goals can be met.
Competence: What do I do well? I’m a good mom. I’ve done everything possible to help my son win a medal.

Can you predict what’s going to happen to this mom when the Olympics are over? Or, worse yet, when her son retires? Who will this mom be then?

When any of us try to meet all our needs in any one person or thing (other than God), we’re in a dangerous position. When that one thing/person changes or disappoints us, there will be an emptiness in us that can be overwhelming. This can cause us to flounder and question everything. Being non-engaged in life is a common result.

In my example, I used a mom and her son. I could have used a dad and daughter. It wouldn’t matter. And, what about siblings and friends? And coaches? Is what I’ve suggested relevant for them, too?

What about you? Is your focus too narrow? If you’re trying to meet all your needs in a person, how do you imagine that person feels? What would it take for you to find others to also rely on? If you’re relying on a thing, what other talents, interests, and activities could you add as answers to these questions?

As a new school year begins in some parts of the world, it’s not uncommon for parents to look to their children to meet their needs. Do you now see how risky this can be? I hope you’ll ask yourself regularly if you’re doing it so you can broaden your perspective, if necessary, and not use children. That should not be their role.