Common Parenting Mistakes – The Interfering Parent

Before you read on, please know that all parents are amazing and all parents (with the very odd exception) do the job to the best of their abilities. At least that is what I have to tell myself every now and again!

Our parenting style will be a unique blend of our personality type, our upbringing and social factors; along with the personality of our little darlings. what could ever go wrong??

I have inserted a parenting mantra for you to repeat as often as you need to, it helps to say it in the mirror, or better still, video yourself saying it and play when needed!

Mantra of the Good Parent

“I am a good parent

I love {insert name of offspring} and {insert name of offspring} loves me

I want the best for {insert name of offspring} and I am capable of giving my very best

I respect myself

I respect {insert name of child offspring}

I accept our relationship is always changing

And this can be for the better

I am a good parent”

Now, you have prepared yourself to read on, parenting mistakes are almost always examples of parents overdoing a skill. In my field of work, there are no true mistakes, we talk about using a skill a little too much…

Today, we discuss the Interfering Parent

The Interfering Parent

“Leave me alone” is an all too often comment splurted or spat at us by our lovely offspring.

The interfering parent wants to know exactly what their child is doing every hour of the day. Who are they friends with? Who have they fallen out with? What are their teachers saying? These parents have to be involved with everything their child is doing.

selective focus photography of woman using smartphone beside bookshelf

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The scariest comment I hear from young adults is “Me and Mom (or Dad) are literally the same person” Queue vomit gesture!

Is this you? What are you creating / suppressing in your child? Please be honest here…ok I’ll help you out

  • you are disabling the growth of autonomy (the sense of self)
  • you are creating a co-dependant relationship which will end badly – FOR YOU!
  • you could be encouraging your child to lie to you
  • you are disabling them from the best way of learning – making mistakes!
  • you are disabling their growth of resilience
  • you are using your own personal time badly when you could be having fun!

There are just a few to be going along with

Now, if you need to, repeat the Good Parent Mantra! Ok, deep breaths here.

As I mentioned earlier. If you are inclined to this style of parenting, it helps for you to realise which of the abundance of skills that you have, you are over-using. And here is the good news…

The Skill of Caring

Yes! you’re overdoing possibly the most precious parenting skill of all. You’ve fallen into a funk and it’s time to get out for the sake of both of you.

How?

First of all, take some time to think about what you get from interfering…from now on we’re going to say over-caring.

You may want to think about your own childhood. Were things similar? Maybe if they were, think about how you felt and how you would have preferred things to be. How did you find you were helped/hindered by this?

Were things totally different? Were your parents distant or absent?

You need to understand that you are “getting” something from over-caring. It is satisfying something within you which means that your over-use of skills is starting to have the negative effect of becoming all about you and not your child. This is the opposite of what you want.

So now it’s time to really dig deep and ask yourself what you get from “over-caring”?

Does it make you feel Safe? Loved? Wanted? Needed?

Obviously, this answer will be different for everyone so once you have identified what you get from over-caring, you can look at other areas of your life where you might get some level of satisfaction.

So, I challenge you to a social experiment! Try backing off from your precious offspring in one or two areas for a week.

Keep a journal and note down what you did differently and how things changed if at all.

The way in which your child re-acts could help you to realise what they are needing more of and, more importantly, what you can give less of. It may also make you face up to what you need more of and how you can give that to yourself.

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What just happened?

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I’ve just opened my laptop after what seems like a lifetime. Flickering hopefully on the screen was the first few lines of my pre-Christmas blog. Eerily enough, I was due to talk about the fact that Christmas is not always a great time of year.

Many of the young adults that I work with do not look forward to time at home. At best it can be a source of stress or, in some cases; prolonged exposure to emotional and physical abuse.

I must admit it raised a smile when I read the beginnings of what would describe my Christmas this year… not all it’s cracked up to be.

We knew this year was going to be different but in a good way. For the first time in 10 years I was not going to be hosting Christmas! I was excited to be staying with my Dad and Step Mum and being thoroughly spoiled. This happened and thank goodness, as it provided a flicker of happiness in a very dark time.

You see, my husband’s mum, my mother-in-law; died quite suddenly on 14th December this year. 

There it is, said in one sentence but an event which shook our World at a time when families unite. It seemed like whilst the whole World hurriedly prepared for parties, presents and holidays, we were talking to funeral directors and choosing coffins.

So, Christmas has mostly been something to “get through” this year.

But, get through it we did, and here we are, ready to face a new year and a new time for our family.

We’ve had to dig deep and find the laughs where we could. Oddly, there were many of them and we are beginning to define our new normal.

So, my message is particularly personal this time. I want you to spend a minute or two thinking about what is most important to you. Then, give thanks for it and appreciate it. We are all loved in some way, make sure you know how you are loved and be aware of your own ripple effect too.

Much love to you all and a Happy 2019 from me.