My TFTW this week is Parents are often selfish
This week my TFTW is: Parents are often selfish…. let me explain.
First of all, selfish is concern for oneself above others.
Many of you will read this and immediately be up in arms yelling at the screen that you “always” put your kids first.
Here’s why that’s bullshit.
How many times have you lost your mind on your kids while they were having some emotional outburst?
How many times have you demanded they “knock it off” “Cut it out” or tell them they’re “fine” when they’re clearly upset?
We’ve all done it. I did it yesterday. But it has dawned on me that those reactions are about me. Because I can’t handle what they’re going through they must “knock it off”.
Everyone has emotions.
They never shut off, yet no one has ever shown you how to deal with them. We are all told from a young age WHAT to feel (happiness being the priority) but not HOW to use our feelings.
Men especially are told we are “fine” when we are not (i.e., ignore your feelings), “suck it up!” (i.e. ignore your feelings), “don’t be a baby!” (i.e., ignore your feelings). You see a pattern here? The truth is the person setting those demands on us didn’t know how to deal with what we are experiencing so we were made to hide our emotions for THEIR sake …. not ours. Doesn’t that sound selfish to you?
Think how often you have been at odds with your own emotions. When one side of your brain is telling you your fine and the other side is saying no, you’re not! Confusing right? When we impose our unwillingness or discomfort with a totally normal human experience, we are creating conflict all be because we are too afraid, unwilling, or incapable to deal with someone else’s emotions. In fact, we demand kids sort it out without showing them how. How stupid is that? Maybe its because no one showed us.
It’s a lousy way to experience life. Now what if someone taught you to simply acknowledge what ever is in your head as real. Recognize it and move on.
What if we made that experience about our kids instead of about ourselves? Would we perhaps raise kids that are aware of their feelings and can sort it out for themselves? Would they be better able to regulate their own inner world and experience? I sure think so.
In fact, if we demand our kids treat people the way they want to be treated shouldn’t we do the same?
What if you had a problem that was significant for you and when you told your friend spouse loved one etc. and their response was: Suck it up!
How crummy would you feel? Would you ever trust that person again? Yet thats what we expect from our kids! What we really convey when we demand they ignore their feelings is: No, you can’t trust me with something important to you. Maybe that’s why kids stop talking to their parents. This is why my TFTW is Parents are often selfish
So, what do you do now? I highly recommend “The Whole Brain Child”. by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson . Its been a game changer for me and my family.
Also check out this link to my previous post that is designed to help.
Ultimately by knowing your own inner world and emotions you will be better able to help your children regulate themselves.