Fear. Fear is the reason for which you can’t set and hold limits with your kids.
The limits you learned as a child were instilled to you using the tactics of fear, guilt, and shame. The limits you’ve learned taught you more than just limits – they taught you that YOU are “not okay”, “not enough”, or “too much”. And you don’t want that anymore. But you have no idea what else you can do.
You see, our parents (most of them) didn’t know any better. Fear, guilt, and shame were the common parenting tactics for the past 7,000 years. This is how they were parented, this is how they parented. The language they spoke (and most of us still speak) is the language of fear, guilt, and shame. A language no human being likes listening to; a language no human being will voluntarily cooperate with.
Limits, As We’ve Learned
What the thought forgets, the heart remembers.
When most of us were little and did something our parents didn’t approve of, we were told we are bad kids. We were shamed (what’s wrong with you? How many times do I need to say something for it to get into your head?”). We were guilted (“why do you have to be so loud? Why can’t you just do what I tell you?”). We were trained by our fear (“if you won’t stop that right now I will make you stop/will go away/take away/or anything else that we’ve feared!”)
We blocked it away from our thoughts, but our hearts still remember these feelings. We carry these feelings with us wherever you go. We walk this world thinking we are just not right, that something about us is not right, thinking we are too much of something, or not enough of something else. We know that we don’t want our children to learn this way, but how else can it be when we bring all these feelings into our parenting? When we keep living these feelings day in, and day out?
The “NO” as an Enemy
Since we were taught limits using this soul-drenching language, we (automatically) resisted these limits, and fought. And when we fought, our parents fought back. And then there was fighting. So much fighting.
We learned to connect the “NO” to the fight it will bring. And we don’t want to fight, do we? So we begin avoiding the “NO”. We broaden and broaden our limits, until there are no limits. And a house with no limits is a sad house, where we feel no one cares about anyone else, where “to each his own” and loneliness is the leading feeling.
The “NO” as Protector
Mama, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our NO is meant to protect us from everything that we don’t want for a very specific reason. The NO doesn’t have to be followed by a fight. NO is a strategy to keep US happy. And you know what, making our loved ones happy is an existential need all human beings share – our kids, too. They want to make us happy. They want to make us proud. And they need our limits to do just that. Without our limits they are lost in this world; misguided, and lonely, too. Our NO protects us, our NO protects our children.
A Disagreement Doesn’t Have to End With a Fight
Once we change our perception of limits, redefine our limits to fit with the new perception, and learn how to communicate without fear, guilt, or shame, once we learn to set and hold limits with our children motivated by nothing but love – we are off to a brand new parenting journey.
A parenting journey in which all family members are connected and cooperating, honest and accepting, warm and loving.
Would you like that?
Click the image.