“In my world there are no ‘bad’ kids, but there are plenty of misunderstood children. That’s our doing, not theirs” – BM
Every now and again I get asked by someone why it is that I always think the child is right and the parent is always in the wrong.
Short answer – I don’t.
- Parenting children isn’t about who’s right and who’s wrong because we’re talking about a relationship between an adult and a child. That sets the stage for context.
- If adult expectations are that the child should always do as we expect of them – the child is likely to be doing ‘wrong’ a lot of the time, particularly if our expectations are demanding behaviour that is greater than their current developmental capacity to give.
- Parenting requires us to learn a bit about what is reasonable to expect of a growing child. We don’t need to become experts in child development but we do need to get to know and love children as only a parent can do. And, when we have concerns, we need to look into what may be driving them to behave in the ways they are.
- Parenting also requires us to take a look at ourselves, and that’s usually the hardest part. We need to be willing to consider what it is that we are bringing to relationship and how our ways may be impacting our children. This may be guilt-inducing and difficult to do, but it’s essential if we are to stop looking through the lenses of who’s right and who’s wrong.
- Parenting can’t become a blame game, because if it does, there has to be a loser. Instead, I encourage you to view parenting as an opportunity for growth. Not just for your child, but for you too.
- You get to be in the front seat when it comes to raising your children in the way YOU choose to do. You don’t have to follow the roadmap your parent’s used to raise you. Yes, of course you will naturally draw from the aspects that made you feel loved and cared for but the rest you can leave behind. If you’re still blaming them for their ways, it’s probably holding you back now. Those days are long gone. You weren’t ever a ‘bad’ kid, your parents just didn’t understand you (or themselves) and didn’t have the awareness to do differently. That’s not on you.
- Think back to the aspects of being parented that you don’t feel served you. Do you also want to include those in your interactions with your own child? If not, acknowledge this and let it become some of the fuel to create a new path.
Every time you find yourself in a struggle with your own child you have an opportunity to do things differently. Your new found awareness might be all you need or perhaps you’ll be moved to find resources or people to support you. You get to decide.
Owning our place in the parent-child relationship gives us the lens to see that raising children isn’t about who’s right and who’s wrong – it’s about showing up for our children as they are and not giving up on them or ourselves.
PS. I’ve written a book all about how to see children so we know what to do for them. You can find out more here: https://www.amazon.com/What-Young-Children…/dp/1777064902