Google+ Authentic Parenting: Emotions Aren’t a Parenting Tool (rerun)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Emotions Aren’t a Parenting Tool (rerun)

Most of us have grown up with emotions being a dictate for our behavior... Not only our own emotions, but also the emotions of others. Fearfully rowing between the rocky waves of the anger, the guilt, the joy and sorrow of parents and caregivers, what have we learnt?
Nothing much, except that we should always, ALWAYS put other people’s emotions before ours, that emotions are scary and how to use our own emotions to manipulate others.

You know how people say that children are manipulative creatures? We are the ones teaching them to be.

Every time an adult tells a child not to do X or Y or “mommy will get mad”...
Every time we use our emotional outburst to sanction children...
Every time we yell at our children...
Every time we physically assault children (call it spanking or whatever)...
We are showing our children how to do the same. Yet emotions aren’t a good disciplinary tool, quite the contrary.

Obviously, all of us are entitled to our emotions, and it is healthy to feel them, but they should never be used to get a reaction from another person. Emotions are just your body’s response to a situation, nothing more. Pinpointing your emotions and working through them is a good thing. Finding out why you are feeling this way is good to.
Instead of telling your child not to do X because you’ll get angry, tell them the exact reason why this situation is ticking you off.
E.G. "Don’t tear down the wallpaper. I really like it this way. I spent a lot of time decorating the room. Let’s keep it nice the way it is.

Not giving full disclosure of why things make you angry or sad is pretty confusing for a small child. Give them the credit they deserve and don’t take the short cut telling them you’ll get angry. When you are feeling angry, do tell your child, but realize it is not them making you angry, it is the reaction your body and mind chose to come up with.

 


Share/Bookmark

7 comments:

  1. Totally, I always say that we are in control of our emotions, and we decide to get angry, and not the other way round... (Or else emotions will control us!)

    Thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really like this! Having been raised by a mother skilled in emotional blackmail and restricting my own right to my emotions and needs- I have grappled with these exact thoughts, and such ideas are very important to me. I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lauryan RitzlmayrJuly 13, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    This really resonates with me right now - it's something I am working hard on rectifying within myself and hope that its not too late to show my children a better way.

    We as adults need to be fully cognisant of what we are saying at all times! we are the adults, we need to emote responsibly, and that's not as a way to control or manipulate the behaviour of others around us

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this! We do our best to use NVC with our three, and teach it to other parents to use with theirs, but I've never really considered this angle of the rationale for doing so before. It makes perfect, succinct, and eloquent sense the way you put it. Thanks so much!

    And just to add to the discourse a bit -- I think it really does help parents, and I speak from my own as well as others' experience here, to use the NVC model where appropriate. I encourage parents who are interested to do their own research into the specifics, but generally (for those who don't know): you begin by making an observation about what you see happening (trying to be as neutral about it as possible); then you talk about the feelings in a self-responsible manner ("When I see you... I feel..."), being mindful not to claim that the child's actions *made* you feel anything; then stating the need you have; and finishing by making a request. The beauty of this model is really just that it allows the parent to state her own perspective, tell her feelings, and ask for something different without putting undue stress on the relationship, and if done well, offers the child great negotiating modeling and more opportunities to learn about/from/through empathy.

    Thanks again, Laura! Definitely sharing.

    Be well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this! We do our best to use NVC with our three, and teach it to other parents to use with theirs, but I've never really considered this angle of the rationale for doing so before. It makes perfect, succinct, and eloquent sense the way you put it. Thanks so much!

    And just to add to the discourse a bit -- I think it really does help parents, and I speak from my own as well as others' experience here, to use the NVC model where appropriate. I encourage parents who are interested to do their own research into the specifics, but generally (for those who don't know): you begin by making an observation about what you see happening (trying to be as neutral about it as possible); then you talk about the feelings in a self-responsible manner ("When I see you... I feel..."), being mindful not to claim that the child's actions *made* you feel anything; then stating the need you have; and finishing by making a request. The beauty of this model is really just that it allows the parent to state her own perspective, tell her feelings, and ask for something different without putting undue stress on the relationship, and if done well, offers the child great negotiating modeling and more opportunities to learn about/from/through empathy.

    Thanks again, Laura! Definitely sharing.

    Be well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this! We do our best to use NVC with our three, and teach it to other parents to use with theirs, but I've never really considered this angle of the rationale for doing so before. It makes perfect, succinct, and eloquent sense the way you put it. Thanks so much!

    And just to add to the discourse a bit -- I think it really does help parents, and I speak from my own as well as others' experience here, to use the NVC model where appropriate. I encourage parents who are interested to do their own research into the specifics, but generally (for those who don't know): you begin by making an observation about what you see happening (trying to be as neutral about it as possible); then you talk about the feelings in a self-responsible manner ("When I see you... I feel..."), being mindful not to claim that the child's actions *made* you feel anything; then stating the need you have; and finishing by making a request. The beauty of this model is really just that it allows the parent to state her own perspective, tell her feelings, and ask for something different without putting undue stress on the relationship, and if done well, offers the child great negotiating modeling and more opportunities to learn about/from/through empathy.

    Thanks again, Laura! Definitely sharing.

    Be well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for this input. I wrote a little about NVC when I first started blogging, but I still need to learn more to successfully use it in my life.

      Delete

I love comments! Drop me a line