Parents – almost always involuntarily – do things that scar their children well into their adult years. Let’s go over a list of some of those debilitating things and, please, take inventory. Ask yourself if any of these issues have occurred in the past with you as the parent. And/or if any have transpired with your own children.
Get centered. Be honest with yourself. Let’s grow…
Wrong #1: Threatening
I once heard a mom utter, “If you don’t sit up straight and behave yourself, we’re going to get on this plane and leave you here in this airport!” Honestly, what an empty and ridiculously stupid threat. We all know she’s not going to do that. It’s just simply a horrible thing for a parent to say to a child.
We end up saying things of this nature because we heard our own parents say it.
All of a sudden, it’s coming out of our own mouths. And when it does, we’re almost shocked by it. But, there it is. Repeating a vicious cycle.
Wrong #2: Name-calling
When parents say,
- “You’re lazy”
- “You’re acting like a…”
- “What’s wrong with you?”
That’s just as bad as calling your child a fill-in-the-blank profanity.
Wrong #3: Creating self-limiting beliefs
- “We don’t do that. We’re poor.”’
- “Do you know how much money it costs to raise a family?”
- “This family doesn’t go to college.”
- “We’re big people. Big-boned. It’s in our blood.”
Wrong #4: Putting down the other parent
You might as well be saying derogatory things about your child to your child because everything you say about the other parent feels like you’re saying to your child. See, we internalize our parents as part of who we are – a part of our own identity.
If there’s tension between you and your spouse, I promise your kids feel it. Babies feel it. Even the pets do!
Try to fix YOU. Then, maybe you can get your partner to go to therapy. It doesn’t mean just walk out because you’re arguing. It means you’ve got to figure out how to communicate better.
Wrong #5: Making decisions
Not giving children the ability to make mistakes, mess up, and then fix it themselves. All you’re doing is robbing them of their confidence and belief in themselves. Why would they believe in themselves when you did everything?
They’re paralyzed by perfection because every move was made by the parent.
Wrong #6: Poor role model
We leave an imprint on our children in the way that we live our lives. Everything we do is modeling to our children what they’re supposed to do. Whether you know it or not, they’re aware that you’re drinking every night. They see you pulling at your clothes, going on diets, and talking negatively about your body.
Right #1: Apologize to your child.
Failing to apologize is one of the most hurtful things parents can do. I just can’t tell you how many people have written me letters about painful things that happened to them in their childhood and said, “If my mom or my dad would have just owned it, they knew it happened, but they never apologized. They never said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.'”
Yeah, apologize to your child.
There’s just so much more to cover! One blog is just not going to do the trick, lifers! We need to get more real and flesh out each of these wrongs – and add more to the list! Plus, I firmly believe personal anecdotes really serve important messages… so, I’m about to get transparent about my own parenting! Where did I go wrong and right with my kids?
It’s ALL here in this podcast: When You F Up as a Parent! How about THAT title?! Make sure you listen now.