Have you ever had that sinking feeling like your parenting wasn’t up to scratch or like no matter how much you try it just isn’t enough? Sometimes what our kids say or do and the mistakes we may make as parents can cut us to the core. Whether it’s constant fighting, a cutting look, not wanting a hug or asking the same question 10 times.
Children have a way of wearing us down physically and emotionally.
And in a time, as young fathers, when we are trying to establish ourselves as men and our identity in the world,
Going through this can be particularly trying on our self-esteem.
For example, my son is definitely more of a “mummy’s boy” in the sense that he would MUCH rather be held, have his clothes changed and engage with his Mum than me. Even to the point where at daycare he was crying to STAY there instead of come home with me. I pretty much had to drag him out kicking and screaming and received a swift kick to the family jewels just for good measure.
Sure enough I wasn’t feeling like a great parent after this and it really brought to the surface a lot of things I had been feeling prior about not receiving affection from my own son.
Self esteem, as Nathaniel Brandon writes in The Six Pillars of Self-esteem is made up of two parts: self-efficacy; a sense of confidence to face life’s challenges and self-respect; a sense of worthiness to be happy.
There are two main issues to think about here:
1 — Accepting where your children are in their development
Children feel their emotions and express them without a filter, and can often struggle to control them.
Know that what they say or how they act is not a personal attack.
Try to look past the literal words or gestures and think about the reasons behind them.
With my son, I know that he needs his mother more at this stage in his life because she is his earth – his safety. I can accept that as he grows in his development he will need different things from his mother and I at different times.
The best thing you can do as a parent is take control today and ensure you are always offering your support and love.
2 — Building self-esteem is an active process
An active process that requires conscious changes to our automatic thoughts, feelings and actions.
A quote from The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem:
“Our feelings tend to encourage or discourage thinking, to draw us toward facts, truth and reality or away from them – toward efficacy or away from it.”
This highlights how your everyday outlook on life will tend to influence your belief in your ability to tackle life’s challenges.
Ie. If you don’t believe that you can’t rise to the challenges of life/parenting/work then you are more likely to take actions which fulfill this idea.
A vicious cycle to get into…
Like anything we can use life’s stressors to improve and grow or stay stagnant and feel depressed.
So, keep positive lords. Don’t make parenting a personal battle between yourself and your kids.
Tell me a time when your kids made you feel shit below…
Originally Published on thebossdadmovement.com
Photo: Getty Images