I stood there at the kitchen sink ready to scream.
My five-year-old son refused anything I suggested.
“Argh!!!!,” he cried as he flung himself down on the couch.
And me, oh I would do anything to get the screaming to stop.
“Why don’t you try eating something?” I suggested.
“NO! We don’t have anything!”
“You should go in the other room to calm down.”
“AHHHHHH!!!” He stomped off to the guest room and slammed the door. I want to desperately go after him, hold him and make him happy again.
His screaming drives me crazy and yet I hate to see him so sad. But, I realized something about myself that stops me from comforting him right away.
What is affecting your parenting?
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Have you read “Do it Scared” yet? NO?!? Ok, let me fill you in.
My friend, Ruth Soukup, wrote this book to help people realize the fear holding them back in life and then taking the steps to overcome it.
But, it also helps you in parenting.
Mahatma Ghandi said, “If you want to change the world, start with yourself.”
I take that one step further. If you want the change your kids, start with yourself. I hate to admit it, but kids are the biggest mirrors.
When my son walks into a room when he’s upset and slams the door, I recognize it.
It’s familiar because I’ve done the exact same thing.
But where do we even begin if we want to make a positive change in ourselves as parents?
We need to know what exactly is holding us back.
Where do I start?
First, go take the Do it Scared Fear Assessment. It’s quick and will give you a quick glimpse into the fear that has the biggest impact on your life.
Ruth divides fear into seven fear archetypes. I’m going to walk you through them. See if you can guess which one is your strongest and then go take the test.
Are you a…
This is my strongest fear and shows up in my parenting all the time. You know how I desperately want to make my son happy? That’s where my people pleaser comes out.
While being a people pleaser makes me relatively easy to get along with, it also makes my life a little harder.
People pleasers tend to…
- Never want to appear foolish or silly
- Don’t ever want to let people down
- Cares deeply about what other people think
Because of this, I struggle to say no and also have the tendency of letting others walk all over me.
I yell and cry sometimes because I haven’t set strong boundaries. I’ve said yes to everything and now feel overcommitted which leads to a complete emotional breakdown.
Friends who take the Fear archetype assessment and get this result always respond, “Nah! That’s not me.”
Then, they read a little deeper.
The procrastinator archetype is your typical perfectionist.
Procrastinators are people who…
- Postpone or avoid things they don’t feel competent in
- Get depressed when she makes mistakes
- Like to plan ahead in order to allow as much time as possible.
How hard on yourself are you as a parent? Do you criticize yourself if you yell or make a mistake?
If so, your yelling might be because you’re being too hard on yourself. Since your expectations aren’t getting met, you’re becoming super frustrated.
Would you do anything to avoid rejection? You might be an outcast.
This fear archetype was strong for me, too. As my daughter enters her teenage years, I’ve been struggling when she outright rejects me and my help.
It comes out as anger or sarcasm. But knowing this and how it affects me, helps me walk away until I can process my emotions.
I say less that would potentially hurt her because I know my natural tendency.
Outcasts tend to…
- Believe that people will let them down
- Feel like they don’t fit or belong
- Be sensitive to any perceived rejection.
As parents, outcasts tend to be introverted. This may cause you to resist asking for help as a parent and insist on going it at it alone.
All this fear of rejection – which, my gosh, kids are experts at doling out – combined with your lack of support can cause you to lose your cool.
If you insist on always doing things the “right” or “best” way, you may be a rule follower. As a rule follower you tend to see parenting situations in two ways:
The right way and the wrong way. There is no in between. There is no gray area.
With your kids, you like to:
- Look out for them to make sure they are making good decisions
- Be right
- Avoid chaos and uncertainty
Parenting gets messy. As a result, you might get easily stressed. You probably also feel anxious when your kid behaves in an unpredictable way and you have ZERO clear courses of action.
Constantly fear that you aren’t a good enough mom? You might have self-doubter as your dominant fear archetype.
Self-doubters tend to…
- Be hypercritical of herself and others
- Feel unqualified and “not enough of anything”
- Struggle with negative self-talk
Because of this, self-doubters may pick apart their kids’ behaviors, which could cause tension in your relationship.
They fight back. You react. And bam… the yelling begins.
This one’s a bit hard to swallow but is so important to acknowledge if you have this behavior. Excuse makers have trouble taking responsibility or being blamed.
- Reluctant to take charge or make decisions
- Hesitant to share their own opinion for fear of being held to that opinion
Excuse makers also feel that the reason they’re being held back is that there is no one there to help them. They lack support or leadership.
In your parenting, this may appear by blaming others for your child’s behavior instead of holding your child accountable.
It’s the other kids’ fault Bobby hit him.
It’s the teacher’s fault that Melissa is failing.
Since you can’t control other people’s actions, you feel out of control and helpless.
This one shows up a lot in parenting! The pessimist tends to see a stumbling block or hardship as a reason to stop instead of push through.
A pessimist believes that…
- Other people have it harder than her (for example, her kids are more difficult than anyone else’s)
- There is no solution to her problems
If you’re a pessimist, you may feel hopeless about your kids’ behavior. This can affect your mood and your relationships with your kids.
When you know your fear archetype…
Knowing where and how you struggle is hard to admit. It’s difficult to face our weaknesses. But know, that each of the fear archetypes has positive traits as well. Ruth takes you through them all in Do It Scared as well as how to break through them.
You’ll have insight into some of your biggest parenting struggles.