Are You Unconsciously Destroying Your Child?
Nothing disturbs me quite so much as when I hear a parent rip his/her child apart publicly. What do they think they are accomplishing? Perhaps they think they are being funny, or maybe they are looking for affirmation and support, but the bottom line is: They are destroying their child. And worse yet, they don’t even realize the damage they are doing to their child and to their relationship with their child.
Do You Criticize Your Child in Public?
Read the following real-life scenario and see if you recognize yourself here. If you do — The good news is, it’s never too late to change.
A friend of mine recently showed me a Facebook status message that a mom had posted about her own children on Facebook.
The mom started by commending one of her three children for an accomplishment that the mom was proud of. No problem there. But then, she launched into a detailed rant about her other two kids.
Why couldn’t they be just as smart, organized, talented and on the ball as their sister?
How hopeless they were!
The mom told all her Facebook friends that her younger two children “just don’t get it,” and went on and on about how much they aggravated her and how disappointed she felt in them. Worse yet, she mentioned each child by name and provided details about medical conditions and medications they were taking to treat those conditions.
Nothing could be more destructive to those kids’ self esteem and chances of future success than the mom believing these things, stating themand stating them publicly.
Your kids will generally live up (or down) to your expectations of them.
How to Stop Destroying Your Child
If you want your children to be healthy, happy, loving and cooperative, here’s what works:
- Your kids do some things well and right and worthy of praise. Consciously look for those things and let your children know you see and appreciate their praiseworthy accomplishments and behaviors. Tell your friends how much you appreciate your children, as well.
- Never compare one child to another. Ever.
- Help your children with the things they struggle with, but do so privately.
- Never condemn your children, in private or in public.
- Take time to teach your children what you want them to “get” and show them again and again if necessary. You don’t “get” everything the first time either.
- Know that your words have the power to build up or destroy. You can never take back the hurtful or damaging things you say. Whether you speak ill of your children in private or in public, they know.
- Your kids will grow up to be like you. Are you modeling for them the kind of adult you want them to become? Do you want them to become negative, critical, complaining, frustrated, stressed-out adults?
- Take a deep breath and calm yourself down.
- Your children are not you. Detach enough to let them be their own unique independent selves. Allow them growing room.
- Love them — and tell them you love them, often.
If you have been unconsciously destroying your children through your own words and actions, the good news is:
You have the power to change for the better.
The first step is to decide to change.
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