Nothing ever seems to go perfectly when we want it to. And it’s really easy for us to feel a bit down and shitty about aspects of that, and also to ramp up the language we use, our aggression about our opinions and also our expectations of others.
And this is where our kids are watching.
They are paying attention to whether what we say and how we act matches.
One of the things I see again and again, is the frustration that we as parents have when our children act just like we do.
I find it amusing that there is the assumption that they will follow the right instructions and also discount how we act.
In fact when we think about it like that, it’s obvious that we are expecting too much.
However, it is very rarely that I see the same understanding of parents when they are in the middle of a behaviour or action that they would ABSOLUTELY growl their children over.
The easiest example I have, and one I see often is around FRUSTRATION. If you are trying to teach your child to NOT yell and scream when they are frustrated or angry, then it would be helpful if you ALSO took this path. This means that even when your children are frustrating you, you shouldn’t yell and scream at them.
Just think about that.
Because our kids are navigating a very confusing world, where what they are told and what they witness don’t match.
With teenagers there is the perception that they have a lack of respect for authority, but my take on this is, I wonder if authority has shown the teenagers an example of what ‘respect’ looks like in return. Many teachers and parents, don’t follow through with things that they’ve said they would do, and if a teenager did that in reverse WE would have a problem with that, and yet we don’t see the reflection and the parallel.
You are not failing if you choose to show respect first – you are demonstrating what it looks like, showing an example with your actions, and providing a framework where your child can learn from your words AND your actions.
You can ABSOLUTELY be the parent that you want to be, and sometimes that means reflecting on your own actions and checking in to see if THEY match what you are trying to achieve.