Before you become a parent, you expect to do it right. You think it will be easy. Great expectations. Reality sets in along with the sleepless nights of parenthood.
Thinking parenting is easy until you actually become one is common. Also common is assuming you will do it right and that means you will not do the things your parents did that hurt you. Great expectations and delusional.
We model our parenting on our parents. The good news is that even those raised by abusive parents manage to be less abusive. The statistics show that almost all who physically abused their children had been physically abused. What is left out of that pictures is the fact that only about 30% of those physically abused became physically abusive. The picture is murkier when it comes to emotional abuse, but the whole concept and understanding of emotional abuse is murkier.
Sooner or later, most of you will find yourself doing something to your child, you promised yourself you would never do. Happens more than you think. I promised my self, I would never yell at my kids the way my mother yelled at me. A promise broken more times than I want to admit. Sigh.
Good enough news: all things considered, my Mom and I were both “Good enough” parents. Most parents are and if you are reading this obviously you are doing your best to be not just good enough, but better than good.
Too much is expected of parents. Too many expectations that cannot be met. The media has created the idea there are perfect parents somewhere in the world. Lies, lies, and more lies. Parenting is a messy business and perfect parents a myth.
Who drives these ideas and why? The most innocent explanation lies in the fact that most people identify strongest with a hurting child, not with parents who hurt. That is often why many hurt as children become therapists. Some studies show that over 70% of all counselors and therapists belong to a category called “Wounded healer.”
Wanting to share what you have learned from the lessons pain has taught you drives many. It drives me. It drives the hundreds of parent bloggers as well as the majority of therapists and counselors.
Reality check: the research also shows that helping others and sharing knowledge soothes the healer. I get a high when someone likes, shares, or comments on one of my posts. I feel of value and that is what all crave.
A less innocent explanation also exists. Seeking profits. Doing so is often innocent. I’d like to make some money from my efforts. The difficulties emerge when profit seeking gets tied to false promises. Promises of “Peaceful Parenting” is a false promise.; so is the idea that if you “Just do it” you will reach your goal; such promises sell better than all more reality based efforts.
Finally, another less innocent explanation exists. When people have a bit of money to spare and are promised happiness or the fulfillment of another great expectation if only they buy this product or use that service; people buy, buy, and buy some more.
My advice: Go for good enough, almost good enough, and accept the bad as offering you a lesson to do better next time. Learn my CARE response and use it when both when you fail to be your best and when your children fail to be their best. Here it is.
Finally, learning my Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises builds the calm needed to accept life’s less than happy moments. The link takes you to my Free eBook describing each of the exercises. Once learned each is easily practiced. Each one was specifically designed to improve #EmotionalIntelligence.
Remember that liking, commenting, or sharing is an act of social media kindness. Practicing kindness strengthens you and helps me and others.
As always, thank you for your support, it means a great deal to me.
Today’s EFTI FREE Poster Coach
This one describes each of the 12 Daily Exercises.