Do you ever get concerned with all the rules/expectations
that seem to come up as we go down this new generation modern
gentle/positive/connected/conscious parenting route?
I know it’s something I’ve seen come up often, “what do we do when …………”
This often comes up for those of us who have kids that are more resistant to connection (don’t like hugs). Especially for the parents who have been doing the connected parenting, getting all that feeling in and doing really well.
Then your child becomes a toddler.
Their personality starts to fill out.
You begin to notice varying level of desire for independence based on their specific behaviour type.
GETTING is RIGHT
Some, who are the parents who “want to get it right” worry when they have a child and the action necessary to manage the situation sounds like it’s against the preferred method. (ie manhandling).
From the Community
We had one community member seeking clarity about how to respond to a difficult situation in a public place. They had heard not to touch, and so were curious, what to do if touching is off the table.
I suspect, and happy to be wrong, when people say they don’t touch their children, that could be they don’t smack them, could be that their children may not like being touched, or have asked not to be touched.
These are all boundary considerations.
It’s looking at healthy boundaries and avoiding using our child’s rejection of touch as a reason to desert them.
That might not be your action but some adults will get so upset that they’ll justify sending their child to their room, or some other isolation because the adult feelings were hurt.
The problem is a little kid won’t understand the intentions and only process for the literal experience and words. Its why we parents have to ADULT and sometimes that’s hard, especially if we did get physically or emotionally hurt and we do have residual injured inner child. What that means is we may respond in a childlike manner.
There are age relevant considerations too. Meaning that if you have a little child, and they physically hurt you, there are ways to be close and avoid/minimise the chance of getting physically hurt.
My oldest was a like a thrashing machine when he became angry and frustrated. I also knew he needed my calm in order for him to calm down. I didn’t get mad at him for not coping, though I did need to take evasive action to minimise getting physically injured.
It’s understanding your child and what they mean. Different behaviour styles have different needs.
(We’ll look at this more in coming weeks)
I learned that when my child said, “don’t touch me“, that was their fear/survival instinct protecting him, not because he was expecting me to be physically retaliatory at him, and more a reflection of his own judgement of himself.
In those moments, they need us to hug them. This is where ADULTing is really important. They need us to be their safe haven. That’s the commitment we took on when we become a parent. It’s really difficult for some of us, particularly those who may have been the “surrogate parent” as their role in the family. Rarely being protected, and expected to be the protector. Stated or the meaning the child created.
Unless we have a child with known reactions to physical contact, such as some children with ASD and SPD, hugging them is what they need.
When they are really angry, is being there close by even if they don’t want to be touched (their boundary).
It’s way more of a test than we adults realise. Totally subconscious on their part, but that push back is a test of “are you willing to still love me when I am at my worst?”.
If we move away, they get to prove themselves right, which breaks trust, and makes it more difficult next time around.
Parenting is hard. And we have to be kind to ourselves as we work through what works best for all of the members of the family.
If you find the challenge of parenting and/or adulting tough, then let’s connect. We are not meant to go it alone.
Our modern world has left us with less support than we have historically had.
There really is truth in it taking a village to raise a child. Even then they realised that we need a breadth of input. Even parents are not meant to be the “be all” in the lives of a child.
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