How does your history affect your parenting and your relationship? What’s the relationship legacy that we leave our kids?
Think about it – what legacy did your parents give you?
How did they deal with conflict?
How did they communicate with each other?
Where they living together or apart?
What did it look like growing up living in your house?
These early childhood experiences are where we learn how to do connection, belonging and bonding with others as we grow older.
We learn this stuff between 0 – 3 years old; a time when we don’t have language and we can’t understand complex things. Kids are highly tuned into how they feel about things from the minute they are born.
And they take the nonverbal – non memory stuff into adulthood and used these learned patterns as a roadmap for connection with our partners and our kids; as well as with our family of origin, friends and colleagues.
So we all have a roadmap – what did your parents teach you?
My own personal roadmap wasn’t very healthy and it didn’t teach me how to parent my kids.
Once I had my kids I felt like I was winging it most of the time. I read every single parenting book I could get my hands on. It wasn’t instinctive or intuitive – I had to learn how to do it – like most women.
All of that said – this isn’t a bash of parents (especially Mums) – I don’t know a parent anywhere who doesn’t wake up every day wanting to the best job they can do every single day.
Most parents feel a level of pressure to do a ‘good’ job. Many parents who come and see me – wait until the door closes and then collapse into the pressure that parenting can bring.
Life is not easy and many professional advocate being consistent and predictable with our kids – but we do yell – we do lose it – we do fall apart and feel overwhelmed at times – and that is ok – we can do a ‘good enough’ job
When we are under pressure at home and we are not being our best parenting self it is important to remember that you reach into the ‘relationship toolbox’ your parents handed to you early in your life. If the tools you need are not in there, then things can feel like a huge struggle.
Some women feel they don’t have the skills they need to parent and so they may become really permissive thinking that they will give their children the things that they never had.
Others simply do the opposite of what their parents did – this can sometimes work to a certain degree but neither of these choices is ‘intentional’ parenting.
Parenting is a tough job but we are not there to be our kids best friend we are there to teach them how to be functioning members of society. To show them how to make positive contributions. It is not your job to make them happy.
So some parents really do need to find some new tools. Different tools from the ones that they learned during early childhood.
We have become a child centric culture. I see parents bend themselves into pretzels to give their kids everything they want – at the expense of the parent. This style of parenting is leading to many kids becoming entitled and grandiose.
We are hard wired for struggle – its important – so as parents we need to let our kids struggle – they feel great when they accomplish something difficult.
I want to give you some tips
- Take care of yourself first – you are the most important person in your life – if you don’t take care of you – you will not have the reserves you need to give to others
- Don’t get too Hungry, Angry Lonely or Tired if any of these pop up for you then take a time out and meet these needs first
- Do some intentional breathing – 4/4/4/4 breathing or 4-7-8 breathing – you can google these or watch the video for a demonstration
Remember that our kids don’t learn from our talking to them – they watch us they see us doing our own lives and they then absorb that – you model how to live your life.
They see you:
How do you greet your partner?
What do you do when you are exhausted?
What do you do when you lose it?
What do you do when you are overwhelmed?
How do you do repair?
Kids see, hear and feel what is happening around them – so you need to embody what you want for them.
As parents what we teach is not what we say it is what we do – it’s how we behave.
If you would like to catch me on one of my Facebook live events – please go have a look at my Facebook page and all of the upcoming events are listed there. https://www.facebook.com/DebbiCarberryCounselling/
If you struggle with your parenting and you would like some help acquiring new skills then please contact me at the website …