Breaking Connection: Many of these beliefs are inbred in culture. They do not lead to connection and closeness in families. Which do you want to work on discarding?
- I need to control or please my child in order to make her/him into a good adult.
- Parents are right because they are the adult and children need to learn how to follow rules. Whether parents and children feel connected isn’t as important.
- Children need to stop crying and whining so much. I am uncomfortable hearing these emotions and I feel helpless when I see and hear my child unhappy.
- Strong emotions get in the way of getting things done. They should be ignored.
- The adult has the final word and it doesn’t matter if the child feels misunderstood, unheard or unloved.
- When my child misbehaves, it is a reflection of me and means that I am not a “good” parent. (This usually leads to me feeling angry at my child for embarrassing me.)
- Strengths are praised but challenges, or weaknesses, should be changed.
- I am uncomfortable and critical with imperfection and weakness in myself and in other family members. I need to repeatedly point out imperfections in others so they can change according to my expectations.
These beliefs usually lead to forms of punishment such as bribing, taking things away, yelling, shaming, blaming, giving rewards. We do have the ability to chose other beliefs. Read my blog Attitudes and Actions that Break Connection Part 2 for more often hurtful beliefs. You can also find alternative thoughts and beliefs that build connection on my two blogs on Thoughts and Beliefs that Build Connection.
©2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.