How do I break my old patterns with my kids?

Let me start by saying that we are very complex creatures. Our life as children and the experiences we pass through has direct results on how we are shaped up as adults. And whether we like our parents growing up or don’t like them, they become our models for parenting consciously or subconsciously. Or/and, we develop, as a result of their parenting, behaviors to adapt to their parenting that dictates how we parent our own children. The most important thing is becoming aware that the way we parent our kids as adults, isn’t “the right way” or “the wrong way” but is our way and how we have been raised.

What if, you struggle in parenting your kids? To take a step back, what defines struggling? In instances you find yourself fighting with your kids, there is a back and forth conversation and struggling in authority in the relationship. Or, you find it hard to put boundaries for your kids; this means that they will do what they like, even if it would harm them now or in the long term and you don’t find the courage or the will to interfere; another form is crossing your boundaries in words or physically and interfering in your personal life as individual. It could also be that you feel that they don’t trust you enough to be open about their life and experiences with you. Or any other situation that you find yourself unable to remain in your adult role.

What does an adult role mean? Well, if you start becoming aware of your behavior you will be able to identify when the adult in you is present, and when the child in you is present. Neither of the roles are good, or bad. As a parent, you want to lead your life with your children from the adult role. Why? Because this is the character that brings safety, stability, love, security to the household. This doesn’t mean the child role doesn’t bring all of this, the child in you can bring playfulness, joy, fresh energy to the household, if, the traumas and experiences from the past have been dealt with kindly and with compassion.

Breaking the patterns with your kids start with you as a parent. And it starts from becoming conscious of your traumas and experiences as a child. It starts with looking deeply and assessing: how do my kids trigger my traumas from the past? When do they trigger them? What are the behaviors and attitudes they exhibit that trigger them? These are important three questions to ask yourself. Assessing the situations you go through every day with your kids, will enable you to see clearly that your kids are not the cause of the struggle, but, you as an adult and a parent are responsible for your triggers and when you have dealt with these triggers, you will have given the child in you, a safe home within you, where he/she can feel safe and secure. When you have done that, you could allow the adult parent to be more present, and invite the playful child into your household to enjoy and have fun with your kids.

Without dealing with your childhood traumas and experiences, you will keep struggling with your kids. They will keep triggering you constantly and you won’t exhibit the kind of love that you as a child might have lacked growing up. And then, the cycle will repeat itself. The pattern will keep repeating until one day, your child or their children will choose to break it, however, today, as you read this, you have the power to break the pattern and create better experiences and future for your children and liberate them.

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