What are the origins of your concepts of love and respect? Can you separate the way you desire to parent from unhelpful past models? Much of traditional parenting rests on a hierarchy of power and control. Love is a reward, based on meeting certain conditions. Respect is born of fear. If children fear their parents, they will respect them and obey them, hoping to earn their love by meeting their parent’s conditions.
When we recognize that our children have reasons for those upsets (even if we don’t really get it), it gives us the opportunity to connect and actually help make it better this time, and the next time, too. Learning the skills to regulate and create more connection in the moment helps everyone to feel better, no matter how old we are and no matter what we call it.
When you have little ones, there is a lot of talk about how “it’s just a phase” and “this too shall pass,” whether it’s about picky eating, tantrums, or some other behavior deemed inappropriate in our society. While it is true that many of those behaviors do pass with time, I definitely wasn’t expecting to still witness full toddler-style tantrums with my child at 8 years old.
Moms’ Night Out! A coveted part of many moms’ lives. You get to take a shower, put on some makeup, and wear grown-up clothes. And the best part? You get to talk to grown-ups – and ones you like, for that matter. Here I was in my dress that finally fit me again, babysitter engaged, Read More
Whenever I ask a group of parents what they want for their children, the topic of respect inevitably comes up. Parents want their children to be respected, but parents also want to feel respected by their children. Many parents grew up not feeling respected themselves and most parents, it turns out, grew up having at least one experience (most had many experiences) of not being respected by an adult in their life.
Everywhere we look nowadays, children are being diagnosed and labeled with disorders based on their behavior, with acronyms being placed near their names. “Johnny has ADD, that’s why he can’t sit still.” “Sherry has RAD and that’s why she can’t attach to us.” “Vinny is on the (autism) spectrum.” But how does it help to label our children?
Listening to your gut when faced with a challenging social situation is hard. We don’t want to believe bad things are happening in the moment. However, when presented with someone that shows you unkindness or frightening opposition, listen to that feeling. Believe yourself.
She paused for a moment. This pause was for her. She centered herself around the realization that her child was distressed and this was how he was expressing it in this moment. She wasn’t going to do what he was demanding. That would not be healthy for either of them. But she stopped what she was doing and gave him her full attention. She ignored his behavior in this moment and focused on him, her child, who was clearly having a rough time.
The challenge of being a parent today isn’t a lack of information. In fact, information overload has made parenting more challenging. Especially when you consider that the answers for your family aren’t going to come from the outside, but from within yourself. After all, who knows you and your family better? Sometimes, though, we find ourselves needing some guidance or some suggestions beyond the usual time-outs or other parenting strategies that just don’t seem to be working.
In addition to learning how to show love, knowing a person’s love language is also extremely helpful to keep from hurting them. We have taken to calling this, the opposite of your love language, your “Hurt Language” (or “Hate Language” as my son likes to say, since he thinks that describes it better). Basically, if you criticize a person whose love language is Words of Affirmation, reject physical contact from a person whose love language is Physical Touch, or refuse to help someone whose love language is Acts of Service, they will probably feel completely rejected and unloved.
We read during easy times when things are going smoothly and everyone is happy. But more and more, as he gets older, we have moments of misunderstanding, disagreement, and frustration. We feel disconnected and it can be hard to come back together. So often it’s those times where he asks me to read because he knows it will recenter us both.
“My son refuses to help out. He isn’t very independent. He wants me to do a lot for him and so I do. But I resent it.”
It brought up a great question. How do parents navigate those situations when we need our child to help out without resorting to yelling, hitting, or threatening? How can we consciously parent through it?