To be honest, I have equated being able to control my children with good parenting. I have assumed that my childrens’ actions were a direct reflection on me, and people would judge me accordingly.
I have come to recognize this as a slightly insecure approach to parenting, What I thought was strong, turns out to be weak. This is how I came to see controlling and punitive parenting as weak.
Because of my insecurity, any way that my kids acted that weren’t happy or helpful, wasn’t really acceptable to me. If they yelled, cried, or had a tantrum, I felt like it was a threat to me and my worth. This is the truth of the matter.
I felt the need to control my children, force them to be obedient and happy…so that I would look and feel good.
I was making it about me and I wasn’t allowing them to express normal and healthy emotions. For those of you who don’t know, this is not healthy, not good for kids, not good for me, and not good for the family.
Happy and helpful children are great, but we have to allow our kids to feel other feelings. Sad, frustrated and mad are also very human emotions that we all experience. I wasn’t being realistic. I was holding my kids to an impossible standard, all to protect myself against my insecurities. And to boot, it wasn’t even working. My authoritarian parenting led to power struggles, outbursts, and a tense environment. I wasn’t enjoying being a Dad, and I wasn’t even getting the cooperation that I was looking for.
Perhaps you can relate. If you are honest, maybe you can see yourself in this a bit. It’s hard to come face to face with our own insecurities and ineffectiveness, but it’s the only way forward. So, be honest with yourself, but be compassionate too. If you’re trying, that’s what’s important. You might not feel like you have things figured out yet, that’s okay. No one ever taught us how to parent. Life is a learning process.
But if you are interested in making a change, in learning some new skills, I can help.
First, here are some articles that might help.
And of course, you can always contact me to set up a free consultation.
In Truth and Love,