You are becoming everything you hated about your mother. You promised yourself that you would not yell at your child. You promised yourself that you would be there for your child. You would make all of the parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings. You would be the classroom mom. You remember that lonely feeling of not having your parents attend special events or any event. You vowed that when you became a mother your child would know how much you cared because you would ALWAYS be there. So why doesn’t your child appreciate ALL the sacrifices you are making? Why is he so mean to you? Why is she angry all the time? All you want to do is be a good mother. I’m going to let you in on a little secret… That’s not what your child wants.
Your child wants you to LISTEN. Your child wants you to believe in her. She wants to know that she is capable of standing on her own. He wants you to stop answering for him when someone asks him a question. You probably didn’t know that this makes him feel dumb. She actually feels useless every time you correct her efforts.In fact, she’s getting to a place of just not trying.
He’s thinking, “it doesn’t matter anyway, mom is going to do it over.” OMG, she’s going to tell EVERYBODY what she does for me, as if I can’t do anything myself. Ugh, she gets on my nerves!!! I wish she would give me a CHANCE and just LISTEN! I’m smart, or at least that’s what she says. Maybe I would stop yelling and screaming at her if she would just listen. I don’t want to be angry or have an attitude. I don’t like seeing her sad. I want her to be proud of me and at least acknowledge that I try. She says she loves me. She says she wants me to talk to her. I’m confused because EVERYTIME I try to talk to her she tells me how I should feel. She says “you should be lucky to have a mom like me. Nobody ever cared about me. And I’m just doing my best. I never had half of the stuff you have. You are so unappreciative. I guess I’m just a terrible mom! I would NEVER talk to my mom the way you talk to me.” Then I start thinking “why did I say anything. It doesn’t matter. I guess I will keep to myself.”
Does this sound familiar? At some point we all struggle to LISTEN to our child. Here are a few tips that have transformed my clients lives:
- Actively Listen (i.e. eye contact, stop what you are doing)
- Reflective Listening (i.e. put a feeling to what is being said)
- Respect Your Childs Feelings (i.e. don’t judge what they are saying)
- Listen with Empathy (i.e. I appreciate your courage to talk about____)
- Silence (i.e.give child time to talk)