Pride or Parenting?

There are many things involved with parenting that we don’t take the time to think about on a regular basis because it comes so natural. There are also parenting situations that appear to be so normal that most of us don’t give much thought or question to the way we were taught. Imagine telling someone that they’re wrong or that they cannot do something, all with the reasoning, “because I said so” or better yet, not being able to admit to someone proving you wrong, that you’re in fact, the one in the wrong. Probably not that hard to imagine given that just about every parent in America exercises the unwritten rule that children can’t be right, shouldn’t debate with adults, and aren’t deserving of apologies when they prove adults wrong. As crazy as it’d be not to give another human an explanation when telling them they’re wrong or apologizing when warranted, we suddenly lose that respect when it comes to our children, why?

In situations outside of my child, I have never been the one to shy away from being wrong and/or apologizing when it’s needed. It was not initially clear to me when the small habit of teaching him, “I’m right because I’m the adult,” started to develop. Now, of course this isn’t word for word what I teach him, but when thinking about it, this is how insane it comes out when taking away from children solely based on age/status. We were going back and forth and w/o any solid reason other than thinking I knew better, I told Aiden he was wrong about how something worked. He politely proved to me I was wrong and even provided the reasons to support me being wrong. This stopped me in my tracks mainly because it’s not everyday that a 3 year old knows how to prove someone wrong with facts. The other reason being it took me back to my times as a child, being annoyed with adults thinking they knew everything.

It seems that when we become parents, we lose our ability to admit when we are wrong and/or apologize to our children. As noted before, this is something I have experienced as a child myself, watching friends & family have children growing up, all the way into becoming a parent. With this being a norm around me, it never stopped me from questioning the reason behind it. In addition to questioning, it has also served as a long standing parenting pet peeve of mine. That is, up until I found myself being that same parent. When having my experience it caused me to step back and question the messages I want Aiden to receive from me and my parenting styles. It made me think about why I was so uncomfortable apologizing. In the midst of these thoughts and trying to wrap my head around how to handle the situation next time, one word kept ringing, and it was ‘pride.’ Something that can easily sneak up in parenting, but doesn’t always mix the best. As I explored deeper into thoughts, pride was the exact block between me being able to comfortably say, “I apologize for saying you were wrong Aiden, because it was me in the wrong.”

I understand, that not all parents believe it to be as big of a deal, but I will be the first to say that it is. I’ll also be the first to say that trying to teach a 3 year old that his thoughts are valid will probably serve me better than trying to get a 13 year old Black boy in America to believe it later down the line. We often times save tasks and teachings for our children, when the reality is it all starts the day we bring them into this world. I want to challenge parents over the next month to look at some areas where pride and parenting mix for you! In addition to looking at the areas, find ways in which you can exercise less pride and more parenting. As we know admitting you’re wrong is only one of the many ways we see pride take over parents.

Please share in the comments or find me on social media to share your thoughts! 

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Keep The Same Energy

Isn’t it funny how adults will acknowledge that children are sponges in all areas, BUT energy and emotions. I have always found frustration in adults not allowing their children to have emotions as it relates to being sad, mad, or frustrated. Especially when children are picking this up from the adults around them who are feeling these emotions. As adults, we transfer certain energies onto children and get frustrated when they exhibit them in their own ways.

I remember growing up hearing, I was too young to have an attitude or that I did not know what it meant to be mad. It was not until I was on the floor crying a few months ago that I realized that being a sponge goes beyond the scope of repeating cuss words and saying “oh lord,” when he is shocked. As I was on the floor crying, Aiden not only demanded to know what was wrong, but seconds later he was on the floor pretending to cry beside me. Immediately I thought this was hilarious, but over time it has provided me with a new perspective. He initially came into my space very energetic and this quickly turned into him worrying about me and trying to match the emotion that I was feeling at the time. Children are sponges to much more than what we like to acknowledge. Imagine if we taught our children how to be happy, how to properly love, and what it feels like to have internal peace.

With this, I have been doing a lot of spiritual/soul work to be more in tune with my own emotions in order to better regulate them. It has led me to the question of, “What kind of energy or emotions am I comfortable with transferring to my son?” Adults have one thing if nothing right about children experiencing chronic negative emotions, it isn’t natural. Children are experiencing anxiety, stress, and anger at higher rates, not only due to the world we live in today, but parents are unintentionally transferring these things onto their children. It is not something that is thought about on a regular basis, because most times it is not something that is being done purposely. And while it is easy to get lost in the stress of all that parents have to worry about, it is important that we start being more intentional about the emotions and energy that we are teaching our children to carry.

I  do not say all of this to say that it isn’t normal to experience negative emotions because they are too natural emotions. What makes it scary is the fact that when you have no control over them you are not able to teach your children what it means to be be sad, mad, or hurt. Speaking for myself, I grew up a very angry child and person because I did not know what to do with the emotions or energy of being “down.” I lived in spaces where arguing and fighting was normal, negativity was normal, and being stressed was normal. This led to me picking these things up and exhibiting them in my own ways. which often led to me being in trouble. We set children up for failure when we can’t tell  them something as simple as, “you are upset right now, I will let you feel this emotion.” Believe it or not, I have people that actually judge me for allowing my son to have emotions. At two he is able to communicate when he is mad, when his feelings are being hurt, when he feels someone is being mean to him, and so on. I am happy to say, that he will never get in trouble for telling me or his dad that he is upset.

I’d like to challenge all my mommies this month to be intentional about what emotions and energy you are transferring. At the same time, when your child experiences an emotion that they were taught, but have no clue what to do with it, use it as a teaching moment! I’d love to hear feedback on how this goes!

 

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