FIX THE CHILD? PERHAPS FIX THE PARENT INSTEAD
Often when a parent cries out for help to fix a problem about their child, it is not the child that needs fixing, it is the parent, and their perspective. Plain and simple having a child means you may need to alter your lifestyle not fit the child into your lifestyle. Or it may simply mean you need to change your expectations, but either way you as parent, are the ones that need to change. How on earth would I come to this conclusion…? Here are a few scenarios that might explain.
A commuting parent has a child. The parent may if he is unlucky not get home till 7 p.m. The wife just as busy rushes home at a time not much earlier. This is not uncommon. You have a young child. The tea is not prepared. They want to spend a quality half hour with the child before bedtime. So at 7 p.m. the tea is not made, the child is not bathed, they haven’t had their quality time. When are they expecting this kid to go to bed! Why are they surprised that they start having trouble with their child, who not only doesn’t go to bed until 9 p.m. also is up with the birds in the morning, to see dad off. Something needs to change, and it aint the child that is the root of that problem….
Parent is a working mum and when she gets home she has to be a working wife, mother, dishwasher, cook, cleaner, transporter for the next 18 years. Somewhere in between all this she has to find the time to be the consoler, the organiser, the listener, the playmate, the vomit wiper upper. It’s all understandable that your child has turned into a monster and you just don’t have the energy to control it.
Parent feels guilt over the lack of time he is spending with his child. Child is acting out because he is not getting the time. The parent then starts to give into children out of guilt, or becomes either too harsh, when blaming the child, or too lenient when blaming themselves. This results in the more the parent is visibly upset over how their child is behaving, the child will start internalizing they are not good enough. In addition, when the parent feels guilty it’s harder to set limits or be truthful and direct.
Leading off the guilt, we often get the child who wants more and more in reparation for the time they have missed. They then turn into the centre of our universe, which is all well and good when they are young, but as they get older this is not a fun or smart course to follow. Additionally when a second child enters the mix the first child is going to get a quick reality check, and so is the parent.
ARE YOU STARTING TO GET THE PICTURE?.
What to do!
Stop !! Pause !
If you can’t work it out – find help. If you have no one to turn to, turn to books, turn to the internet. Something out there will help extend your arsenal. And in the interim remember if you are having problems with your child it is their arsenal also which needs to be expanded, so they can learn to better handle the challenges they are facing. Remember! It’s all about challenges and opportunities, not about them being bad or wrong.
You may find it helpful to look at the FREE parenting course available on my website. What it offers – works. I know I’ve been down this road.