Giving Up Parental Narcissism for Parental Maturity

3

Parents often seek their validation from the wrong source-their children. The pure unconditional love of an infant is so intoxicating that many parents want to experience that transcendental glow for as long as possible. Who wouldnt want to be adored without any discernment or judgement? The tricky part is that in order to be a truly loving and effective parent one needs to learn to give up the idealization from their child in favor of setting boundaries, expectations, and healthy limits.

The love that can develop when a parent does not try to be mirrored by their child or best friend to their child, but instead be the parent the child needs, is a love that is built on respect, consistency, and inner wholeness.

All of us need to constantly work on this maturity because inside each of us is a child that just wants that unconditional love we may have once experienced in our parents eyes and did feel from the purity of our newborns love.

A child has a million chances to make friends but it is exceptional to have a sturdy, loving, and reliable parent.

What does it take to give up parental narcissism for parental maturity?

It requires us to recognize first and foremost that our child is not the right place to look for our adult emotional needs to be met. If we have a partner we need to work diligently on that relationship so that it is a source of meaningful connection and legitimate feedback. If we do not have a partner we need to invest in a robust network of friends.

Adults need to be the people we turn to help us get through the ups and downs of life. Adults are the people we need to rely on to give us accurate appraisals of our appeal and competence.

Children need us to be clear and not back down when we have set standards. We need to be the solid posts they can lean on or push against to know their own capacities and inner strengths. When children know where the limits are and can depend on them then they feel more relaxed and trusting. When we feel confident that we can adhere to our values and withstand the inevitable protestations of our children then we can be calm and secure in our parenting and our mature love of our children.

If this all sounds a little too dry or somber let me reassure you that children who are parented by mature adults are raised in some of the most raucous and happy households I have ever seen. Once the proper walls and foundations have been set and reinforced patiently and consistently- both parents and children find an incredible freedom and joy within those healthy boundaries. Genuine playfulness and affection are often an outgrowth of mutual respect and emotional solidity.

After all it is much harder to dance on a buckling and splintery floor. It is never too late for a parent to grow up and become the mature beacon your child needs and deserves.

Take the below quiz and see how you are doing in cultivating mature parenting (for parents of 8 year olds and up)

Score 1 5 (1 Never, 2 Rarely, 3 Sometimes, 4 Often, 5 Always)

1- I give into my childs demands to stay up later than they should

2- I let my child watch too much TV

3- I cant stand it when my child is crying so I do everything I can to make it better

4- I allow my child to use bad language

5- I tell my child to be good

6- I allow my child to interrupt me and other adults

7- I am too tired to follow through on consequences I set for my childs misbehaving

8- I would rather get along with my child than press an issue

9- I make all the meals for my child and clean up after them

10- I let my child monopolize the conversation and not really know anything about me

11- I let my child indulge in unhealthy comfort foods or substances to soothe their unhappiness

Scores of 30 and above indicate you have some work to do to become a mature parent instead of a popular one.

~Dr. Jennifer Freed, PhD, child behavioral expert, co-founder of AHA! (Attitude.Harmony.Achievement.) http://ahasb.org

June 9, 2016

Leave a comment

3 comments

  1. Csays: June 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Great stuff. Thanks for the reminders:)
    I especially like the meal question. Hmmmmmmmm

  2. cautioussays: June 10, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    How does this get scored?

    • PCRSsays: June 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      On each of the 11 questions, you give yourself points: Score 1 5 (1 Never, 2 Rarely, 3 Sometimes, 4 Often, 5 Always), then add them up.

RELATED CHATS

Giving Up Parental Narcissism for Parental MaturityBedrock Principles!Santa Barbara Hockey Association – Membership & Coaching CertificationWhy Bother with Empathy?

Parents often seek their validation from the wrong source-their children. The pure unconditional love of an infant is so intoxicating that many parents want to experience that transcendental glow for as long as possible. Who wouldnt want to be adored without any discernment or judgement? The tricky part is that in order to be a truly loving and effective parent one needs to learn to give up the idealization from their child in favor of setting boundaries, expectations, and healthy limits.

The love that can develop when a parent does not try to be mirrored by their child or best friend to their child, but instead be the parent the child needs, is a love that is built on respect, consistency, and inner wholeness.

All of us need to constantly work on this maturity because inside each of us is a child that just wants that unconditional love we may have once experienced in our parents eyes and did feel from the purity of our newborns love.

A child has a million chances to make friends but it is exceptional to have a sturdy, loving, and reliable parent.

What does it take to give up parental narcissism for parental maturity?

It requires us to recognize first and foremost that our child is not the right place to look for our adult emotional needs to be met. If we have a partner we need to work diligently on that relationship so that it is a source of meaningful connection and legitimate feedback. If we do not have a partner we need to invest in a robust network of friends.

Adults need to be the people we turn to help us get through the ups and downs of life. Adults are the people we need to rely on to give us accurate appraisals of our appeal and competence.

Children need us to be clear and not back down when we have set standards. We need to be the solid posts they can lean on or push against to know their own capacities and inner strengths. When children know where the limits are and can depend on them then they feel more relaxed and trusting. When we feel confident that we can adhere to our values and withstand the inevitable protestations of our children then we can be calm and secure in our parenting and our mature love of our children.

If this all sounds a little too dry or somber let me reassure you that children who are parented by mature adults are raised in some of the most raucous and happy households I have ever seen. Once the proper walls and foundations have been set and reinforced patiently and consistently- both parents and children find an incredible freedom and joy within those healthy boundaries. Genuine playfulness and affection are often an outgrowth of mutual respect and emotional solidity.

After all it is much harder to dance on a buckling and splintery floor. It is never too late for a parent to grow up and become the mature beacon your child needs and deserves.

Take the below quiz and see how you are doing in cultivating mature parenting (for parents of 8 year olds and up)

Score 1 5 (1 Never, 2 Rarely, 3 Sometimes, 4 Often, 5 Always)

1- I give into my childs demands to stay up later than they should

2- I let my child watch too much TV

3- I cant stand it when my child is crying so I do everything I can to make it better

4- I allow my child to use bad language

5- I tell my child to be good

6- I allow my child to interrupt me and other adults

7- I am too tired to follow through on consequences I set for my childs misbehaving

8- I would rather get along with my child than press an issue

9- I make all the meals for my child and clean up after them

10- I let my child monopolize the conversation and not really know anything about me

11- I let my child indulge in unhealthy comfort foods or substances to soothe their unhappiness

Scores of 30 and above indicate you have some work to do to become a mature parent instead of a popular one.

~Dr. Jennifer Freed, PhD, child behavioral expert, co-founder of AHA! (Attitude.Harmony.Achievement.) http://ahasb.org

Category: Advice swap - parent q&a Editorial & columns Parent education Parenting 0-4 Parenting 5-12 Parenting teens

SUBSCRIBE – WEEKLY SCENE

Weekly SceneBusiness Update

First Last

Emai

ZIP

January 2020
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
December 30, 2019 December 31, 2019 January 1, 2020 January 2, 2020 January 3, 2020 January 4, 2020 January 5, 2020
January 6, 2020 January 7, 2020 January 8, 2020 January 9, 2020 January 10, 2020 January 11, 2020 January 12, 2020
January 13, 2020 January 14, 2020 January 15, 2020 January 16, 2020 January 17, 2020 January 18, 2020 January 19, 2020
January 20, 2020 January 21, 2020 January 22, 2020 January 23, 2020 January 24, 2020 January 25, 2020 January 26, 2020
January 27, 2020 January 28, 2020 January 29, 2020 January 30, 2020 January 31, 2020 February 1, 2020 February 2, 2020