Parents can easily get stuck feeling frustrated with their child’s behavior and think their child will never change.
Finding themselves thinking that their child is a little too selfish a little too often, uncooperative, careless, out of control, or too emotional…leading to fear that they will always be this way.
Good news! Your child is not a “finished product” (until well into their 20’s) so any undesirable qualities you see now will change for the better with your guidance.
Their brain is maturing so feel free to let go of any early or unrealistic expectations that are causing you to judge your child unfairly.
Feelings of scorn, resentment, hurt, or dissatisfaction with them injures their self-esteem.
You can become a more effective guide to your child with new information and a strong determination to change.
Once you understand that your thoughts aren’t necessarily the truth, then you can take giant steps forward towards being a positive influence on your child’s development (rather than a negative one).
Words to Not Live By
Here are some judgmental words to eliminate from your vocabulary so you can create an atmosphere of supportive growth in your family…
“You should have”
“Why didn’t you?”
“You should know better”
“How many times do I have to tell you?”
“Why can’t you?”
“You are so …”
“If you only listened.”
“If you don’t/didn’t…”
After putting aside judgmental thoughts, your next step is to ensure that you’re using parenting thoughts, beliefs, and actions that encourage, rather than discourage, this maturation process.
From Negative To Positive
When you feel you’re about to use judgmental language, STOP, STEP AWAY, and PRACTICE choosing the following thoughts…
- I know my child will grow and change. This is only a phase.
- My child isn’t doing this negative behavior against me. They’re just trying to get their needs/goals met in the only way they know how at this moment.
- I made a commitment to take care of my child’s needs. They didn’t make a commitment to take care of mine.
- What are the attributes, values, and skills I want to cultivate in my child?
- How can I more effectively encourage these to grow?
- According to research, what are the appropriate expectations for their age?
- Am I weakening my child by doing too much for them, rescuing them (overprotecting), giving them too much, or lying for them (making excuses)?
- Can I set limits and boundaries without feeling emotionally hurt or rejected so I am an effective parent for my child?
- How can I learn to have compassion for the feelings my child is experiencing as they struggle to develop?
This way you can manage your emotions and prevent using damaging language, instead choosing strategies that will positively influence your child.
Once you ask yourself these questions, then you will start to discover the answers and ultimately have more influence over the outcome of raising your child.
Remember, that your child is still developing into their mid to late 20’s. Never give up.
They always need your love, support, and belief in them.