It’s something that comes up frequently, especially in the world of parenting.
We mothers want so much to ensure that our children get great foundations so that they will thrive as adults.
The problem is, that we can often misdiagnose the issues that others may be having, giving it meanings that are not as true as we may believe. Then get all frustrated and disappointed that “they” don’t understand or are not listening.
That might be true, though far more often than not, it’s a half-truth at most. What I mean by that is, they may not understand what you mean. OR they may follow what they believe are your expectations, in a different way than you had in mind.
When mumma bear is in protective mode, I’ve seen lots of stress in her trying to make sure everyone is looking after her kids the way she does. It’s her own survival mode kicking in.
It’s worth checking in,
- What am I afraid of when others don’t follow the way I want my children looked after?
- Am I afraid that my children will be abused if dad or another carer doesn’t follow my expectations?
- Am I afraid that my children will be mad at me because another adult didn’t respond to them like I do?
- Am I afraid that my children will be damaged emotionally if another carer is stricter, or more flexible than I am?
- Am I worried that when they come back to me, I will have to begin again on the progress I was making
These are all natural variables of our concerns.
How many of these are fully 100% within our control or ability to influence?
The more we try and control how the world functions, the harder it becomes to function effectively.
Do you put your children into the care of people you don’t trust?
If you trust them, is it ok to allow them to manage the kids their way, even if you may not agree with it, all the time? (actual abuse exempt, not just differing management styles)
Is the real problem that you feel undervalued because “they” aren’t following your requests?
How is that impacting your relationship? Are you resentful? Are you annoyed? Are you hurt?
What if our children are meant to be exposed to different types of carers?
We do not need to be caring the same for children to be part of the same team. It certainly helps to have boundaries and agreed expectations, though equally be flexible too.
When a child is bothered by how another adult has looked after them, beware of taking sides. Though absolutely validate their concerns, empathise about their difficulties and be curious about what was in their control.
The biggest thing is to empower our children to know that they are ok, even when their behaviour isn’t. That with age and developmentally appropriate expectations, that being a safe harbour is NOT about saving them from all the difficult and different situations they may come across.
Our most important role is supporting them to learn how to think critically. All that means is the ability to reflect and what happened, and what was in their control, and what wasn’t, so that they are not creating beliefs about themselves that aren’t actually their responsibility.
It’s the same principle of how those of us who want to be conscious wholehearted parents want to be with our children. Is to support our child to accept the person where they are. Separating the behaviour from the person.
The reality is, little kids will have big emotional reactions for no other reason than they are little kids, and the situation was something they felt out of control.
Our job isn’t to “fix” everything. Our job is to be present and allow them to work through their experiences in age and developmentally appropriate ways.