I’ve been reading How To Win Friends and Influence People. I’m really enjoying it and made me think about parenting. I need to parent from the POV of the child.
Also how can I influence my kids to want to do something they need to do but don’t want to? Save a lot of negative energy for the both of us!
The book talks about how everyone is most interested in yourself. You prefer talking about your likes, your problems, your kids…. I have been a self centered parent along with most people. Not in a typical sense, but from the standpoint I want my kids to behave because it reflects on me or I make all these sacrifices for my kids because I am such a devoted parent. I think it’s only natural that most people parent based on what we want our kids to do!
How does the child think? What is truly best for the child? Does forcing them to do something they don’t like help them or make us feel like it’s good for them? I’ve never, ever liked green beans. Instead of forcing my child to eat a vegetable they don’t like because it’s good for them, why push it? It never changed my mind – why would it change theirs? I never had an interest in playing music but was forced to take lessons for 6 years. Different instruments – still hated every ounce of practicing. Did it shape the person I am today? Maybe? But I still harbor resentment for all those miserable hours.
I’ve definitely witnessed and heard of people living vicariously through their children – pushing their goals and dreams onto their child. That’s just selfish parenting. We need to be actively engaging in what our children’s interests are and support them for who they are, not who we want them to be.
Honestly this revelation doesn’t seem to change much. My kids still need to learn manners, do well in school, etc. but I want to have the mentality it is for their benefit not mine. I think shifting my thoughts will support my children and strengthen our relationship in the long run.