Remember when your children were born? The first time you held them in your arms, looking at their tiny fingers and toes? Perhaps you had a sense of awe at this new life and a were a bit overwhelmed at the same time.
Those infinite beings in little bodies didn’t come with instructions. What we think we know about parenting is a combination of how we were raised and the conventional parenting that society perpetrates. And in many cases, neither work.
Because we’ve never been taught anything else, we duplicate these methods and rather than empowering our kids we often find ourselves in relationship patterns that can be disempowering and destructive.
Something else is possible!
Here are a few common destructive patterns along with a tip on how to create something different …
3 destructive parenting patterns to avoid
1. Parenting from control
Have you ever heard someone say, “you should control your children”? Many people believe that it’s a parent’s job to have total control of their children’s lives. This idea is a misconception.
If you believe your children must be controlled, you create a relationship that centers around you constantly telling them what they should and shouldn’t do and what’s wrong with the choices they are making. No one likes to be told what to do … little or big! This control creates resistance. They have to fight.
INSTEAD: Be a communicative parent.
Communicative parents communicate with their kids all the time. They are present with their kids energetically and they acknowledge who their kids are. They ask questions like, “How did your day go? What’s happening in your world? What do you know?”
Communicate with your kids rather than trying to control. Ask questions rather than offering advice.
2. Living your life through your kids
Parents wish for their kids to be successful. Sometimes, parents take this a step further and expect their kids to be something that they themselves wished to be and never achieved. It’s as if the parents take their dreams and transfer them to their children in the form of expectations.
Children are aware of these expectations and if they don’t meet them, they see themselves as a disappointment.
INSTEAD: Let go of the judgments you have of yourself!
If you get rid of the judgments for what you haven’t been able to create in your life, you won’t project them on to your kids. This actually allows them to create more.
Here’s how: For every judgment you have of yourself, say “Interesting that I have that point of view.” As you keep saying this, you open up a space for the judgments to dissipate.
You can use this tool for every point of view! Including the points of view you have about your kids, about parenting … all of it! You can dramatically change every relationship in your life by using this tool!
3. Rules. Rules! Rules!!!
Most of us believe that imposing rules on our children is required if they’re going to grow into well-adjusted adults. We function from the idea that kids have to be “raised right”.
We do influence our children. We can encourage and educate them, but ultimately, our children will choose for themselves.
INSTEAD: Encourage your kids to be aware of what their choices create.
If we encourage our children to perceive energy and to have their awareness, as they make choices, they will be aware of what their choices create.
For example, you can tell your child not to touch the stove because it’s hot (Rule: Don’t!) Or, you can let them know that if they choose to touch the stove it will hurt (Awareness).
Ask your kids questions. Ask them what they know. Ask, “If you choose this, what will this create?” Or, if they choose something and it didn’t turn out well, ask, “What would you like to choose now?” Or, “What can you do different next time?”
When we encourage kids to be aware of what their choices create, they are empowered to know what works. This increases their confidence.
Use these tools to create generative relationships that empower you and your kids!