When your child comes home with a bad grade on a test, you sit them down immediately and try to help them set new goals for improving their grade. You explain about the importance of setting long-term goals and how their current behavior is not consistent with what they want out of life. You never miss an opportunity to encourage and motivate your child to become what you already know they are capable of becoming. But there is no doubt during the moments of disappointment and stress that your child’s wishes and opinions are second to yours. After all, you are the parent and they are the child.
You are a Direct Parent. As a direct parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “What”. What are you doing? What are you trying to accomplish? What is your point? You are goal-oriented, focused, and motivating but you can easily overpower your child to the point of bullying and therefore miss an opportunity for tenderness, compassion, and mercy. If your child is like you, there will be numerous arguments in a constant struggle for control.
The Good. You are very good at helping your child set realistic goals, modifying those goals to address new circumstances and motivating your child to keep going when the going gets tough. Your child will always have some sort of direction, even if you have to decide it for your child because no direction is failure and failure is not acceptable. There are rules in your home and your child knows them, is reminded of them and has consistent consequences if they are violated.
The Bad. You can overpower your child to the point of bullying. Your desire to help your child is genuine but to your child you sometimes come across as harsh, uncaring, and unsympathetic. This is justified in your mind as proper training for the real world that your child will one day face however you don’t fully listen to your child so your training may actually be misguided. Listening requires time, understanding, and patience as information that is forced out of a child can cause them not to trust you in the future.
The Ugly. Playground bullies are a pain but they are nothing in comparison to the parent who is a bully. Yes, your child is a child and they need guidance but the guidance does not have to be pushy, demanding, or belittling. A child who is bullied by a parent, usually acts out and bullies younger or weaker kids. As an adult, they will bully subordinates or co-workers. In the end, no one likes a bully.
Understanding your parenting style is not about beating yourself up and or pointing fingers at your spouse. Rather it is about understanding your natural strengths and weaknesses so you can build on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. Remember, direct parents are motivating so be motivating and minimize the bullying.
There is hope for your exhaustion. Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort. If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment. Or you can send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.