Parenting Manual


I am struggling with parenting. I sometimes get frustrated and yell at my children when they don’t follow instructions then they scream and cry when I follow through with the consequence. For example, me leaving for work: They all like to give me hugs and kisses before I leave but it can become a drawn out process of someone wanting another hug or having one more thing to say when I am literally walking out the door. So we do hugs at the door to help expedite the process, for everyone.

I called for them to come to the door for hugs and kiss. One daughter (6yo) gave me hugs and kisses, the other (6yo) fell on the floor crying “no don’t leave” “you didn’t understand my question” -referring to a previous conversation- and my son (4yo) ignored me. I asked one more time. nothing changed so I turned to go out the door. My daughter started screaming louder and my son started crying and yelling “wait momma.” I felt anger, slammed the door and yelled for them to come give me a hug. Ugh, I felt immediate shame and anger at myself. My son hung his head, gave me a hug and walked away hanging his head and crying . I left.

I then had a tornado of negative emotions about myself and about my parenting. I stayed at work late that day to avoid putting them to bed because I didn’t want to have another negative interaction with them and I still felt very emotional about the situation.

One thing that came up in a private coaching session about this was the manual I have for the way they should act and the way they should respond to their emotions. My daughters have been highly sensitive children and our original parenting approach of time outs was not successful and was overused. And it is not the positive parenting approach I want to follow. So we have been working on allowing emotions instead of sending emotions to time out. And we have been working on setting boundaries and having clearer expectations to decrease the confusion we have created for them (we have been taking the Generation Mindful parenting course which aligns with self coaching a lot).

But in this case of me setting the boundary that this is the time to say good bye and them having emotional responses (especially my daughter who was likely melting down because we had not spent much time together that week while I was working) which I want to support them through, but I didn’t have time to do that and make it to work on time. Also, me not leaving and staying to help her through her emotions would have also not been following the boundary and expectation I was trying to set to improve the transition overall.

So how do I know when I am getting angry/frustrated because of my thoughts about them not following my manual vs them not following the rules. As parents we are supposed to set expectations and boundaries but how is that different than having a manual for them?