The impact we have on our children is massive. I know that feels like a weight to carry. That’s because it is. I know that is anxiety raising. But let’s use it as information to do the best we can.
As parents we have to show up for our children, which means getting good at managing our own feelings. Phrases like, ‘They’ll survive, ‘Your behaviour is embarrassing’ and You’ll just have to get used to it’ are, quite frankly, damaging. Not because they’re untrue, but because when our children hear those seemingly harmless words, they will feel isolated, alone, shamed, blamed and maybe threatened. These are hard things to hear. These moments sit in the background, informing our children what to expect from us and their relationships with others. They’ll sit in the background, forming our children’s beliefs about who they are, trust and what relationships look like. These phrases spring from our mouths almost instinctively, because it’s what we heard as children. We struggle to hold the words back because we’re feeling big, uncomfortable feelings ourselves. It’s tough, but here are some good reasons to start working on your own emotional regulation (I promise you, you can do it):
But there’s something to remember. They’ll be times when it’s hard and your efforts to stay calm amongst your child’s big feelings don’t work. It’s OK. It’s good enough that you’re trying and you’re doing it a lot of the time. There’s a magic word you can say to your child when this happens. That word is ‘sorry’. There's a lot of power in that one little word.
Hey! I'm the founder, creator and voice of Ink and Scribbles. Sharing thoughts on child well-being and parenting that are based on my teaching and parenting experience, and NLP learning.