"Modern Parenting" is a mindf***!


I just got off an awesome coaching call and allowed myself to look on the internet after to see if there were “valid” (haha!) sources for the belief I was working on today — or was at least uncovered in my coaching call that is a source of pain for me in interacting with my son and husband. Here is the belief: “The way we talk to our kids becomes their inner voice” — well, it is everywhere…from blogs to psychology and psychiatry journals – I could allow myself to really allow this to be evidence that I “should” hold onto this belief — right now it is just giving me some insight into why my brain is trying to grip onto it so tightly. But the question is–is it serving me to hold onto this belief? (answer: no!)

And… thinking about this led me down a thought rabbit hole of how “modern parenting” advice is such a mindf*** to parents of recent generations (obviously a thought!!)…there is so much potential there to think we are responsible for not only our children’s feelings, but their experience of the world and how they will “turn out” in every way from their daily habits to their success in life to their emotional well-being – all claiming to be backed by research. Wow, how many of us moms and dads out there are “internalizing” all this advice and then using it to beat ourselves up over daily missteps and all the things we “should” be doing to “save our children” from ourselves? (I hope you can read the humor in the lines here 🙂

This belief “The way we talk to our kids becomes their inner voice” has served me and my husband in the early years of parenting and will likely continue to have a place in our brain files but used in a different way with our now teens (13 and 16)… the model I have with this belief right now is bringing up sadness and fear that then effects how I show up with my husband and son. I do not have control and cannot know what my teens (or even when they were younger) do and do not “internalize” from our interactions with them. I do not have control and cannot know what thoughts and feelings my husband is having unless he chooses to share them with me. I am on the path to freedom!!!
My verbal TD in my coaching session unpacked plenty of thoughts for me to work on, but I think most of them will melt away if I can work with this underlying belief…

UMs:
C: Son texts “literally judging everything I do/and interrupted me speaking” during virtual class
T: My son will internalize his father’s judgement of him (Our words become our children’s inner voice)
F: Sad
A: Interrupt/intervene/tell them to stop talking to each other/invite my husband to a different room, ruminate on the “damage” my husband is causing my son’s self-esteem, allow my own triggers to fire re: my own self-worth and project that on my son, DON’T: connect with either of them, stay calm, allow them to have their own interaction.
R: I internalize my husband’s judgement (=my self-judgement)

C: husband says/shares thought: “it’s like pulling a donkey with his heels dug in to get it to eat” referring to son and school
T: He should not judge our son
F: angry
A: tell my husband what to do (own inner work, read parenting books, stop criticizing, walk away, all the things!), judge my husband, indulge my desire to “Fix it”, “use communication tools” on my husband (=manipulate?), lose my temper, judge, judge, judge my husband and myself DON’T: connect with husband or son, allow myself to have compassion, allow them to have their own experience/interaction.
R: create more disconnection with my husband by judging him

I haven’t gotten to my IMs yet – there is still more for me to dig up and examine with my UMs (and there are many more). I want the feelings to be acceptance (allowing what is), eventually peace or love. Love is probably accessible right now… but I am having a hard time building out the rest of those models, especially the acceptance one. My brain is really sticking to this belief even though intellectually I can see how it is causing me pain and I am bringing it into my interactions with my son and husband in ways I don’t want to. I can clearly see that I cannot know their models, I cannot know that my son will internalize anything… but it is still super sticky. Guidance to loosen this up appreciated!