Control. Do you feel yourself longing for it lately?
When life feels uncertain, we often respond by grasping for control in any way possible. You hyperfocus on cleaning up the house. You micromanage a project at work. You criticize your spouse for the way they do…just about anything.
And you try to get your kid to “behave.”
The belief that we should control our children, that they need to act according to our wishes, usually comes from a deep-seated belief passed down from our own childhood. And when our kids don’t do what we think they should do, we take it personally:
They’re driving ME crazy.
They’re making ME frustrated.
They’re not listening to ME.
We’re tuned into how our kids make us feel, but what about them?
If they’re not listening to you, who are they listening to?
The answer is that they’re listening to something inside themselves. It’s their inner voice, the one that tells them how they feel and what they want to do next.
Granted, what they want to do next might be:
I’m not suggesting you let your child do whatever they want. The opposite of control isn’t chaos. It’s consideration.
When you consider your kid, you acknowledge that their desires and needs are different than your own. I call that the “inner no.” When your child says “no” to you, they’re saying “yes” to something inside themselves.
“When your child says ‘no’ to you, they’re saying yes to something inside themselves.”
Developing a sense of self is important for your kid. You want to raise a confident adult who’s able to advocate for what they need. But without the right guidance, you’ll probably default to trying to control your child’s behavior, which undermines their self-confidence.
Every parent I’ve worked with has made the mistake of trying to control their child in some way. But you can change your behavior and transform your relationship. (And incidentally, your child will probably start listening to you more often!)
If making this change is important to you, then I highly recommend you read my free ebook, 7 Strategies To Keeping Your Relationship With Your Kids From Hitting The Boiling Point. Letting go of control isn’t easy, but I’m confident that the techniques you’ll learn can help you get there.
Love and blessings,
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A 3xTEDx speaker, media contributor, parenting coach, and a mom of two - helping families thrive by using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.