Parents at a certain age reach what I like to call the idiot stage. Your children think they know best, they never believe a word that comes out of your mouth when you are only trying to guide them on the right path based on your own personal experiences. Having two girls in the pre-teen to teen category qualifies me to live these principles.
Yesterday after therapy, our youngest daughter verbally stated that she wanted to spend more one on one time with both my wife and I as her parents, to pull us all closer together as a family.
16 hours later I didn’t realize that bringing us closer would include a crying fit, yelling and screaming at any of our requests. You see, even though at her day camp she will be going swimming, she figured the bigger and better deal in terms of swimming would be at our own pool with my other daughter and my wife.
Even as her therapist recommended to accept what is when it comes to what other people do at times, she still resorts to the trauma of her young childhood when her feelings are hurt. Instead of expressing the sadness, anger and frustration with her words, she would rather act out in an attempt to frustrate us and hopefully give in to her wishes.
When these outbursts occur, I’ve become very adept at just going about what I have to do within my life. We will calmly state what she needs to do next, and when I am ready to leave the house to take her to camp I will walk by her and shut the door without answering her.
She may have grown up in a home where yelling, screaming and curse words were a regular occurence. I’m teaching her that if she wants to get her way, she’ll have to observe the 3 R’s we learned in attachment therapy: being real, being respectful and being responsible. If she wants to be on her own, she’ll have to learn there are consequences to pushing people away when you are stressed out and feel that your social needs aren’t being met to your satisfaction.
I’m maintaining the Jack Canfield principle of knowing that when you take 5 steps forward to achieve a goal, there are going to be 2 or 3 steps back. Course corrections are inevitable, as nothing really goes as you fully plan things to be. Human beings do not come with complete instructions, and in our case we are dealing with children who already have strong personalities when they came into our care.
I feel for my children when they are in pain. I don’t take it personally that they are learning proper response signals to get their needs met. You just wish sometimes it wouldn’t take hundreds of takes on the same principle to make the right connection and learn to develop a better game plan when feeling negative emotions.
On a happier note, my wife and oldest daughter are enjoying a pool day as the weather could not be better for swimming. I’m off to read more in my personal development books (as I have more to take out from the local library today) and prepare for my first bowling day in almost two months on Saturday in Raymond, NH.
Have a great day, let me know some of your teaching moments when it comes to parenting your children, we are definitely all together in the development of raising healthy, confident humans.