This is a rant. This article (8 Surefire Ways To Emotionally Screw Up Your Kid – Psych Central) gave me what we called a hissy-fit back in my home town. It called on me to use my emotional fitness skills not to smash my computer!
I wonder if so many kids and parents love the Simpsons because they do everything the parent advisors say not to do, while still loving each other and managing to be good enough in most things.
I don’t even want you to read the article linked above; the title says it all. It is the Simpsons, without the humor. Still, over 1000 people liked it. So you may like it.
Here are her 8 ways parents screw up kids and my responses, one for each of her sarcastic posting of parental blunders. All parents blunder, some by being too tough, others by being too soft, most by being human. Fortunately, most parents fall into the good enough category, so kids survive and thrive. On to my responses …
Almost every parent I know at one time or another:
- Shuts down emotional expression. Indeed, I do and did. I did not give into temper tantrums, encouraged sucking some pains up and short changed sulking.
- Enforces rules inconsistently. Consistency would be nice but the reality of achieving that all the time needs mega reality checking, especially when there are two or parents involved. For example, I have my style, David has his; some rules matter to me but not to David. We agree on the big four, but both waffle on all the others. Somewhat like the general population.
- Asks for children’s help solving problems. The media promotes the idea that we parents are dunces and need kids to solve not just ours but the world’s problems. Moreover, at least five times today I asked my nearly three year old grandson to solve a problem for me: open a door when my hands were full; shut some doors that had been left open so I didn’t have to get up; go tell his grandfather lunch was ready (grandfather had already been called by twice). Grandson loves solving these problems of mine.
- Disses the other parent. Guilty on this one. I married David because he is up front and direct about what he likes and what he doesn’t like. I have learned to be the same. So at times we seem to be dissing each other. Confession: at times we get into it in front of the little ones. Even if we try to stay cool and calm, the kids know when we are unhappy with each other. They also see us make amends and know we love each other. Differences of opinion, sometimes handled out loud and impolitely, are a fact of life. Kids need to learn that.
- Punishes independence. More quilt. When my grandson wants to see what is in all those little medicine bottles or goes through my desk drawers to see what he can find, he ends up in time out.
- Bases their worth on their child’s performance. Well, not entirely, but I do take pleasure in feeling I am a good parent and grandparent and my children’s behavior, their caring ways, say I have done what I set out to do.
- Gets in the middle of your child’s relationships: I separate fighting siblings. I was a hover mother and interfered when I saw my kids being bullied. I interfered if I saw other kids bullying someone. If adults don’t interfere, kids learn that might makes right.
- Expect your child to live your unfulfilled dreams: Of course, I want my children to do better in life than I have. What parent doesn’t want the same?
Now to be fair, she was being sarcastic and highlighting the extreme, probably emotionally abusive, end of the spectrum. But it interested me that of those who commented on her article, there were 14 comments, talked about how their parents screwed them up.
Don’t accept any advice as a golden rule. The givers, myself included, pursue their on paths and it might not be one you are on or that will take you where you want to go. Be particularly careful when an advice giver does any of the following.
- Shuts down all parental emotional expression.
- Sets impossible to follow rules.
- Suggests parents are the main cause of children’s problems or that good parenting can overcome some of life’ struggles.
- Talk about abusive parents as the way good enough parents behave.
- Don’t see the interplay of parent needs and child’s needs.
- Think parents are the primary cause of a child’s low self-worth. Life eats it, not parents.
- Don’t want parents interferring in children’s fights or other situaions where one child is being bullied. This supports a “might makes right” mentality.
- Do not want parents to have high hopes for their children or encourage being the best they can be and sees such parents are trying to live through their kids. Again, comparing the habits of good enough parents to the worse extreme. Toddler and Tiara parents are few, and even some of them are more than good enough. What kind of parent wouldn’t want a child to pursue realistic dreams (even if shared they are dreams shared by the parents)?
Okay, done ranting. Hope it was of some value.
Be kind to me, like this post or share it. If you didn’t like it tell me why. You might convince me I am wrong.
Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises. Being kind helps many, you included.
IMAGE BY: Simpson Crazy.com