The other day I attended a PTA meeting at my 10 year old daughter's school. The school had brought in these three wonderful ladies that host workshops about how to communicate with our children. It was a really great time, getting to meet the other parents and socializing.
As the workshop began, the assignment was to pick from a stack of cards that the ladies gave us and answer the questions on the card. One of the questions was 'How do you listen to your children in a way that they feel understood, and how do you speak to them in a way that they hear you?' It saddened me to TEARS-- literally, I had tears in my eyes, but I didn't want anyone to see how upset I was getting, so I would blink my eyes really fast to keep the tears back. Why? Because I was listening to all the moms there describe and label their kids as "Bad" "He/she doesn't listen" "I always have to threaten my kids to get them to do what they are supposed to do" "My son has ADHD" "My daughter is so picky and never listens".
I could barely even BREATHE listening to this. Now, one of the rules was that we could not offer any help or suggestions-- we could only sit, listen, and support them. Well, that took ALL OF ME to sit there and not say a word. While listening to them I was thinking to myself, "I wonder if they know their words are playing a HUGE part in the way their kids are?"
I really don't think our children have this many issues. I simply think we have a TON of parents that don't want to "ruffle any feathers" or "get our kids upset with us" so we allow them to do whatever they want until it gets to a point where it is getting on our nerves... then we correct them out of frustration. "Kyle! I've had enough of that! Go sit down". Meanwhile, Kyle is totally confused because for the past thirty minutes Kyle has been throwing the ball up against the living room wall and no one said anything to him. Now, out of nowhere, he's being YELLED at to go and sit down.
Or this one-- when we take our kids over their friend's house or drop them off at school we say to them, "Kyle, now I want you to go and be a good little boy". That breaks my heart every time I hear it. To tell them to go and be good is insinuating that they are anything but GOOD!
If we would actually take the time to parent them and stop labeling them we would see their self-esteem go through the roof!
I also believe so many of us are still dealing with childhood issues ourselves and we are not emotionally there for our children because we are so caught up in ourselves. How could we possibly help our teenage daughter through a breakup if WE are still hung up on the fact that so & so broke up with us in our senior year in high school? I hate to say this so bluntly...no I don't...it's time to GET OVER IT! Our children need us and they need us present with them mentally, not just in the house with them. How can we get to a place where we can do the work we need to do on ourselves so we can be there for our children? I'd like to offer a few tips.
I will be sharing the ups & downs of being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) You'll learn: