You know what sucks? It sucks when I fuck up. When I get overwhelmed and stressed, even with all the strategies I have in my metaphorical toolbox to cope with anxiety, and I reach the crossroad of awareness and maintain the steady bulldozing path of eruption.
I say something out of line.
Now my daughter feels ashamed. Angry.
I say something with a tone that elicits fear and desire for control.
Now my daughter feels guilty.
Whatever I say or do, it is as if I am dead-set on making her feel wrong, ashamed, insulted, bullied, intimidated, unheard, and worse unloved.
And worse yet, it’s scientifically proven that a child’s brain is wired to remember and focus on the negative experiences.
It seems asinine and it’s my reality. It’s a reality for many, sadly. Though, my desire to transform the paradigm of parenting I grew up in is relentless.
I will challenge myself to look at my weaknesses repeatedly
I will challenge myself to learn more about the type of parenting skills I desire in my experience
I will challenge myself to practice these skills
And when I tear down my daughter’s self-esteem because I’m an acting like an unconscious volcanic eruption, I can acknowledge that I have more to practice. I can inquire which circumstances need my time, attention, and empathy. I can acknowledge I need to ‘clear-up’ my emotional or inner turmoil.
I can also apply intentional effort to re-build our connection through solid actions that support her growth:
I can give her ‘special tasks’ that help her feel useful, responsible, and competent.
I can ask her for advice or opinion and show that I’m not perfect and adults need help too.
I can encourage her to share her feelings to work through her turmoil in a healthy manner.
It’s what I can do.