There’s something about freaking out on your kids that makes you reconsider everything that you thought life with kids was supposed to be.
I mean, it’s not supposed to be this hard, is it!?
Well, alot of that depends on what you believe life with kids is all about.
As I think about everything I expected life with kids to be before I had kids, I realize just how unrealistic those expectations of myself, and my kids, really were.
And not only that, but it became clear that as long as I continued to believe these mistruths, they were keeping me from being the mom I want to be, and really enjoying life with kids.
So what are the most common beliefs that parents have, that keep them from being more present and patient, and enjoying life with kids?
Here are the 3 biggest myths about raising kids who thrive:
1. I should know what I’m doing
Of course you don’t see yourself as some expert, but as soon as you hit a bump in the road, you start to get tough on yourself and think “what am I doing wrong!?,” as if you’re supposed to know what you’re doing in the first place. But the truth is, you’re not. How to enjoy life and raise kids who thrive is something we have to learn how to do. Catching ourselves before we lose it, recognizing and supporting our kids’ emotional needs and setting boundaries that work, is something we need to learn. So instead of beating yourself up when you find yourself lost and overwhelmed, know that there is nothing wrong with you. You’re a good parent who, like others, could use a little direction and guidance.
2. I should love every minute
You don’t want to be blowing a fuse every time your child blinks or raises a complaint, but that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you or your parenting, if at times, you’re just not enthralled by the task of motherhood (that’s an understatement!).
Here’s the truth, if you don’t give yourself permission to encounter whatever thoughts and feelings come up for you, it doesn’t mean they go away. Instead, they find other ways to express themselves, like when you snap at your loved ones or can’t find the motivation to do what you need to do. Instead of hanging on to this unrealistic expectation to love every minute of motherhood, it’s better to be open and honest with yourself and learn to encounter the full spectrum of your emotional experiences in life with kids. That way, instead of thinking there’s something wrong with you, you can know that you and you’re kids are okay, and with less guilt, be more present and patient.
3. My kids should always be happy
Okay, maybe you know that your kids can’t always be happy, but it sure would take the edge off of their complaining and tantrums! So what happens when your kids aren’t happy? That’s usually when they act up or act out and you wonder “what the heck is wrong with this kid?!” The answer: nothing. When your kids consistently act out, it’s often because they are trying to express an emotional need. The question is what thoughts and feelings does their behavior bring out in you? Even though you know that your kids won’t always be happy, the question is: How are you helping them understand, manage and regulate their emotions when they’re not?
In short, in order to achieve my goal to nurture loving and lasting relationships with my kids, relationships that will nurture their self-esteem, I have to be open and honest with myself so that I can be a patient, present parent who is able to connect with my kids authentically.
But most of all, to achieve my goal, I have to be willing to learn how to do it. How to connect with myself, connect with my kids and build loving relationships that last.
To learn more about how to develop the skills you need to stay calm when tensions run high, respond thoughtfully to your kid’s misbehavior, and enjoy building loving and lasting relationships with your kids, check out my online course: Enjoy Life with Kids: How to Stay Calm and Get Your Kids to Cooperate, so You Can Yell Less and Enjoy Your Kids More.