Unmet Expectations, Control, and Disconnection: The All-Too-Common Cycle of Parenting
People enter parenthood for a variety of reasons, which often includes completing an imaginary checklist toward a successful life. After all, we completed the other items on the list: college, marriage, owning a house… becoming a parent is what comes next!
Do you know why you decided to become a parent?
It’s important to consider because most parents find themselves in the same cycle: unmet expectations, control, and disconnection. Let’s take a closer look.
As parents we dream our child will fulfill us on a deep emotional level. We fantasize that having a child will lead us to internal happiness. Then reality kicks in, “Holy cow! This is hard! My family is depleting me! My life is no longer mine! I don’t know how to be in a marriage. I don’t know how to be a parent.”
With this fantasy in place, our kids somehow don’t meet our expectations (aka the hope that they will fill our deepest inner needs.) Because of this, when our kids fall short of filling our needs, what do we do?
Control and Disconnection
Control is the only thing we can do because we come from lack. We are terribly afraid to be bad parents, and if our kids turn out bad… then we must be bad parents.
Parenting books tell us to keep our kids in line, teach them to be “good” because they don't know better. So, we end up smothering them, trying to control them, and as a result, disempowering them. Our kids lose connection with their true selves, just like we did. And the cycle continues.
That’s the traditional way of parenting, and it no longer works.
The traditional way of parenting is an outdated model that uses outdated strategies, likely the ones our parents used. It no longer works because it makes us:
- Judge one another
- Lose our cool
- Want others to be like us and think like us
- Become distant and drift apart
- Break up or divorce
- Fearful of what’s going to happen tomorrow
- Focus on working, achieving, and striving
- Use power, control, and manipulation
- Numb and distract ourselves with addictions to social media, alcohol, sex, shopping, eating, gambling, use of drugs, etc.
This is not sustainable! We all know it, and our kids know it too.
So, our kids shake us to wake us…
They misbehave, act out, throw tantrums, hit, and eventually they end up just like us, in the old model of parenting. And the pattern continues.
Ending the Cycle, and Moving Into the 'New Parenting Paradigm'
When, oh when, will we become wise, courageous, abundant and become ready to evolve? When will we begin to create positive, powerful, empowered, mutual, connected relationships, not only with others on the outside, but inside with ourselves? When will we begin to realize that we have been unconscious of our beliefs, patterns, projections and stop this madness? This is the journey of parenthood. To end this cycle and move into the New Parenting Paradigm!
It is time. This is the time. The only time we have is now. Join us in being the change we want to see in the world. If not for yourself, for your child.