Thursday, May 9, 2019

Parenting Tips

My daughter the social worker shares her expert advice.  I am sure at least some of my readers are still raising little hellions children:
As a counselor, I've worked with thousands of individuals and couples struggling with parenting. It is amazing how at the beginning of parenthood, everything seems exciting. Babies are sweet, smell wonderful and love cuddling. But as they grow, we realize that parenting is hard. When your sweet adorable infant becomes a terror at age three or your preteen screams, “I hate you,” emotion overwhelms us and we find ourselves parenting reactively. We scream, “Go to your room,” lock ourselves in the bathroom to avoid conflict or find ourselves shouting the same phrases we heard growing up.
For those who had less than ideal childhoods, it becomes easy to slip into what I call 180-degree parenting. It’s when we become aware of the unhealthy habits from our own childhood and instead of objectively choosing healthy parenting techniques, we parent in ways that are 180 degrees opposite of our own parents’ style.

It’s the mom who grew up in a highly authoritarian, abusive household and promises herself she will never speak badly or set boundaries, then wonders why her children are out of control. It’s the parent from a neglectful home who lavishes love to the point of enablement. It’s the mom from a non-Christian home who forces her children into church every time the doors are open, then wonders why they are resentful about church.

When we parent from a place of reactivity (“Anything’s better than what I grew up with”), it’s amazing how in our efforts to be a good parent, we can still make unhealthy parenting decisions. Some people grow up with examples of what we should do as parents, but many grow up with examples of what not to do as parents. Unfortunately, knowing what not to do as a parent still doesn’t guarantee healthy parenting.

1 comment:

jdege said...

I've often said, a lot of people try so hard to avoid the mistakes they'd seen their parents made that they recapitulate the mistakes of their grandparents.