Parenting is hard, hard work. The older I get, the less I feel I know. The older my children are, the more I realize that there is a fine balance to be kept. It is a tightrope of emotion, hurt, healing and forgiving.
We pass on our own drama, hurt, traits and traumas to our children if we don’t heal ourselves. For many of us, the problem is that we don’t know we have healing to do.
Have you ever gone to bed and wished that the day could be a do-over? Have you lost your mind, yelled at your children and then wished immediately that you could have taken it all back? I have done this more than I wish to remember…but I no longer will subject my children to my hurts, my emotional emptiness and my longing for what I did not receive as a child.
If you grew up in a “yelly” house, chances are you will yell. If you are predisposed to yelling and you partner it with a lack of essential basic human needs of your own being met (food, sleep, a shower?) things can quickly escalate. Your mind races, your thought process becomes non-rational and you can lash out. Lashing out verbally is just as bad as lashing out physically.
What we need to understand is WHY we yell. Is it a need to be heard? Is it to gain control? Is it because we really don’t know any other way? Is it because you felt like you had no voice yourself as a child? For some, we get so caught up in the yelling that we don’t see just how much it scares and shuts down our children. If we cause our children to shut down, they won’t trust us. If we use our voice to control them, they will lose respect for us over time. They will feel abandoned by us and afraid of us. You might see it when they are young. If you don’t, you will certainly see it when they are older. They won’t come to you if they don’t feel safe. They won’t share with you. That is why we need to nurture ourselves as our children grow.
Nurturing ourselves as we grow doesn’t mean a bubble bath and a chance to read a book. It means being self-aware. Self-awareness is the ability to understand why you are the way you are. Why you act the way you do. It is that little voice inside you – the feeling that says “this is not right. you do not want to treat your children like this.” Self- awareness is the want to change. To know better. When we know better, we do better.
To do better lays a foundation of trust, love, empathy and the ability to hold emotional space for our children. It means healing our own childhood hurts and breaking patterns of neglect, emotional disconnect and being able to honour how we are truly feeling. It means we are not perfect, but there is a “method to our madness.” It means that we want to change our methods. We need to be self-aware of our emotions when we interact with our children because we want them to be able to fully experience their own range of emotions and feel that they are in control of regulating them.
It means that we are fully aware that our parents were doing the best they could with the tools they had…but that we want better, bigger toolboxes. It does not mean blaming in the Freudian sense…it means giving ourselves the biggest gift of all….forgiveness.
To forgive someone does not mean you condone what they did. Forgiveness means not letting them control you with their actions, thoughts or beliefs anymore. It is a gift to yourself. We all must forgive ourselves for our parenting slights. We are doing the best we can with the tools we have right now. But we all want to do better. And that means that we need to ask ourselves the right questions.
Do you want to change the way you parent?
Do you want to heal your own hurts?
Do you want to feel better about all of your decisions?
Tell us how you nurture yourself as you parent. One community member will win a Calm Mum class membership for our summer Calm Mum courses. Last week’s winner is Selena! Congrats, Selena!!
With much love,
Posted By Carol Peat
Category : Blog Posted by Carol Peat on April 16, 2012