I was talking with a client over over zoom a while ago and one of her children could be heard in the background shouting. She was embarrassed and incredibly apologetic.
I told her you’re talking to another mum! I get it. You don’t need to explain! My kids certainly have done the same. Kids do that sometimes.
It hit me how as parents we are always so apologetic for the behaviour of our children because we are embarrassed.
I’ll tell you something maybe I shouldn’t, but I want to be real with you here…
When one of my children was preschool age she would have the worlds most intense tantrums- I kid you not. She would roll around on the floor screaming no matter where we were. At home, at a friends house, in the middle of the street…anywhere.
I was a young and inexperienced mum, I have no shame in that. I was what I was back then and can’t change what I did or didn’t do back then. It is however through that inexperience that I’ve gained perspective and learned lessons that I don’t think I would have, had I got it all right back then, alhamdulillah.
I share that time with you because I remember my embarrassment when she would have an explosion in public.
That embarrassment shifted my child’s needs to MY needs.
Her need for a proactive mum was met instead with a mum who was REACTING to the situation based on MY need for an obedient child that wasn’t met at that moment.
Instead of understanding what was causing the eruption and her underlying need so I could handle it appropriately, I focused on how to quiet her QUICK, because I didn’t want to be seen as a bad mum.
What I want you to realise from my hindsight so you can benefit as a parent today, is the embarrassment you feel STEELS from your ability to be the parent you want to be & the parent your child needs.
Because you’re parenting from a superficial level to protect yourself from shame, instead of stepping into the proactive parenting role your child actually needs.
What I want you to take away from this, is learn to let go of that shame and worry about what other people think of you. Kids mess up sometimes. Even the kids of those who are looking -theirs mess up too. Children make mistakes because they are learning.
You’re not a bad mum when they act out. Your job is to guide and correct, to teach your child how to navigate this world and their feelings healthily because they are going to get things wrong….constantly. They need you right behind them to support and help them understand so they can make sense of everything and grow.
Let go of worrying about what others think of you or your child. Those on the outside watching are not going to raise your child for you.
There is help for you
If you’d love help understanding your children’s behaviour so you can respond effectively, come join me in Mums Unstuck.
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