Positive or not, what your parents said to you over and over when you were growing up has a lasting effect.
It becomes a mantra –consciously or otherwise — and will manifest in your own parenting if not acknowledged.
A little memory exercise to recall what you heard as a kid might create some awareness in what you say to your own children.
The ones I heard were:
- Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about
- Either put it away, or chuck it away
- JENNIFER!!! (usually from another room, just before the you-know-what hit the fan)
- If you hate me so much, then just divorce me (said by Mom to Dad after his criticism)
- Candy Ass
- You’ll never get into college and will wind up homeless
and then, the most confusing:
- I love you/I’m sorry
I make it my #153Promise ever day to not belittle my children and/or send them mixed messages. I love them. I appreciate them. I value them. Love should not bring shame, fear or guilt.
Please make it your #153Promise to examine the messages you send to you children. Ask them what they hear you say a lot. Make it during a calm time. Make them feel safe with their response.
It may just open your eyes… and ears.