Being a parent is a true blessing, the most beautiful role we ever get to play in life. Yet, despite the miraculous happiness it brings, parenthood comes with numerous challenges as well.
It leaves no room for distractions and negligence.
Parents often believe their children should show their respect and appreciation by being just the way they envisaged them. First of all, respect is earned, not given freely.
Secondly, this is far from realistic, as our children cannot be or do everything we ask them to. Being the one that brought them into this world does not mean that you can treat them as they are your property.
No matter how you see your legal and moral obligation to provide for the lives you create, your children do not owe you for fulfilling your parental obligations.
They are human beings you need to respect just like they respect you. Give them space to grow and develop in any direction they choose.
Try to remain calm in every situation even when they show disrespect and try to find out the root cause of it. A disrespectful attitude usually indicates that children are going through something, but they are not able to verbalize it.
Therefore, anger and yelling will just teach them to suppress their emotions. Give your children the right and possibility to speak up their minds and express how they feel about a certain problem.
Never encourage them to bottle up things and go through life following your instructions only.
One of the hardest things a parent should do is to find the perfect balance between a fun and a tough parent. In this way, children are encouraged to turn to their parents whenever they need advice, comfort, and compassion.
The process of growing up is unique for each one of us, so you cannot expect your kids to make the choices you did, think in the way you did, and experience life in the same way as you.
If you act like you own your children, they will try anything to prove to you that they are their own people.
There are numerous ways in which you can teach your kids responsibility without treating them like unwanted renters in your home and have in mind that guilt isn’t a long term motivator.
Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic in Troy, MI, explains:
“Anything that feels owed or obligated often comes at the price tag of guilt or resentment, so families should reconsider using ‘owe’ as a method to coerce people and start to use free choice and a sense of autonomy, which yields more gratitude and pleasant feelings.”
Motivate them to grow up with a proper sense of self instead.
Anna Poss, a therapist, and owner of Anna Poss Counseling & Psychotherapy in Chicago says:
“Sacrificing the sense of self to familial expectations is a good way to breed resentment, anger, and pain. Healthy relationships allow you room to be your authentic self. “
Your children are not a version of you, but new, unique people that now get the chance to flourish. Allow them to develop their own opinions and make their own choices, even if this means that they will make a mistake.
Give them the benefit of a doubt, and you will be positively surprised.
“Drop this damn thing that your child belongs to you. If you think this child belongs to you when he’s just coming into his teens, he’s telling you; ‘Goddammit, I don’t belong to you.’ That’s all he’s trying to tell you, but you’re not able to digest. Another life does not belong to you. If another life has chosen to be with you, please cherish that. It’s a tremendous thing.”
Remember, it’s not the “gift of life” if it comes with conditions.