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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Parenting with fear

Are your children afraid of you?  Do they duck if you wave a hand anywhere near them?

When I was a little girl I was always ducking as I passed my parents (my mum in particular) because I was always afraid I was going to get hit.

The irony is my mum would hit me anyway and say, "If you were ducking you must have done something wrong."

Talk about an un-winable situation!

I grew up afraid of my mum, always ducking/flinching, always waiting for the next hit.  Always knowing it will come and never knowing when or for what reason.

Recently I visited a friend and as I was leaving I went to say goodbye to the children and stroke the hair of one of the girls affectionately.

She flinched.

"I'm not going to hit you." I said kindly.  I stroked her hair and then blew her a kiss goodbye.

I felt a bit sad for that little girl... because I remember what flinching means.  It means being hit so often it's expected, even from a visitor (me) who has never hit her and never would.

This is a prime example of parenting styles being handed down from generation to generation.  The mother of this little girl is super stressed and overwhelmed and has become angry and frustrated - she was also raised by a mum who had angry outbursts and smacked her children (like my mum did).  The children aren't listening.  The children aren't helping out.  The children are misbehaving.  And her go to method has become emotional outburst and (potentially) hitting.

The trouble with that is children mirror parents and carers so they're more likely to have emotional outbursts themselves and also hit their siblings.  This makes the situation for the parent(s) worse because there is even more drama to deal with... which causes more stress... which causes more emotional outbursts... which causes more drama...

You get the picture.

How are you parenting?  Do you need help with emotional outbursts and finding other methods of parenting?  Let me know in the comments and I'll see if I can help you out.

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