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Parenting Can Feel Like a Crapshoot

April 19, 2021

First off, let me begin this blog with the statement that I am by no means a perfect or model parent. As a matter of fact, who is? This blog is meant to be just that, a blog of thoughts. When you drive off the lot with a new car there is a manual in the dash that tells you how to work your new vehicle. When you purchase a new piece of technology it comes with a manual that tells you how to work the latest features. However, when you come home from the hospital with a baby, they do not include a manual to tell you how to raise your kid. Experts have written parenting “how to books” that some might find helpful and other parents find even more overwhelming. Everyone within your circle of acquaintance who has raised a child or maybe who has not will have an opinion on how you should raise your child, including doctors, teachers, and maybe even therapists. So, with all this parenting support why are we still so overwhelmed when it comes to parenting?

A popular theme this month in sessions and in my own home has been parenting and not taking it personally when our children react poorly, misbehave, or make poor life choices. Often, we find ourselves comparing our parenting styles to others we see in the community or on television to measure ourselves in how we are doing. But it’s inevitable. We’re not perfect and then it happens. We lose our crap and yell at our kids. When this happens, we feel like crap and are hard or ourselves or blame our kid. So, naturally the first thing we need to figure out is what purpose does yelling serve us as parents? Usually, yelling occurs when we are frustrated, flustered, exhausted and feel like that is our only option to get through to our children in order to be heard. But lying there under the surface there is a root emotion or purpose that is perpetuating why we are yelling that often gets missed or overlooked.

Sometimes that root that gets missed is fear of failing our children, fear of our children not turning out to be healthy or successful adults, or maybe even hurt that after all we have done to raise our children in a healthy environment they still are not listening and valuing what we say. Regardless of what the root emotion is we must remember a couple of things.

  1. What are we trying to convey to our children? What is the message and what is the best possible way of getting it across?
  2. What message are we sending to our kiddos with the type of communication we are using?
  3. Our kiddos are watching every move we make, that is how they learn. So, however we communicate with our kids is how they will communicate with others.

The next time you find yourself getting flooded, take a break. Remember what the message or lesson you want your child to gain is. Remember to check in with your kiddo on why they chose the behavior they did. Remember, all behavior is goal driven, there’s a reason why they acted or reacted the way they did. And remember to be kind to yourself, there is not a manual for raising your kiddo and you are learning as you go. Remember what the goal or lesson is you want to convey and then act with purpose and intention. If you can remember these things and give yourself grace, then maybe parenting won’t feel so much like an overwhelming crapshoot. 

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