I read all your articles and I know I have a lot of fear, and it affects my behavior. I lose my temper, get defensive and argue with my family members quite often. Now, I am starting to see this same behavior in my kids and I know they learned this from me, along with being disrespectful and sometimes mean. I really want to be a better parent and fix this, but don’t know how. Can you help?
Unfortunately, the old saying is true … children learn more from what you do than what you say.
This means if you want them to grow into mature, healthy, respectful, well-behaved adults, you are going to have to model that behavior. In order to do that, you are going to have to escape your fears of failure and loss (which produce out-of-control, emotional, reactive parenting) and start responding to situations with wisdom and love.
But don't be overwhelmed by that, because even though you aren't a perfect parent, you are the perfect parent for your children— that is why the universe sent them to you. There are no accidents.
To help you get out of fear though, I want you to remember that your value is infinite and absolute. You can’t be “not good enough.” It’s not even possible, because life is a classroom, not a test. This means nothing anyone says or does can diminish you. You are bulletproof. I tell you this because your fear of failing causes most of the stress, which causes your unhealthy reactions and bad parenting behavior.
Remembering the truth about your value means never needing to get upset, angry or reactive, because nothing can hurt you.With this mindset, there is nothing to fear, hence, there is no need for bad behavior.
I realize this is slightly unrealistic though, because my life (and my seven kids) trigger my fears of failure and loss on a daily basis, and I sometimes react badly (just ask them), but it helps me a great deal if I can get a clear picture of the bad behaviors I am trying to avoid.
Here are eight specific behaviors we don’t want to teach our kids by example:
Hope that helps.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is a life coach and speaker who seeks to help individuals, couples, companies and organizations reach their potential by eliminating fear.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.