What has become the “normal” way of parenting has created more disconnect than we would like to admit.
Connecting with your kids is not an easy task and will require you to break old traditions you may have endured. You have to be able to look back and objectively examine how you were treated as a child.
Were you allowed to share ideas and form opinions? Were you told to be a certain way even if it caused you pain? If you can’t see things for how they were, how can you make changes in your own family?
How can we expect a child to know who they are if the love they receive is based on conditions? When a child is subjected to the mistreatment, they lose a part of themselves lost in childhood.
The unconditional love you give to your child will have the greatest influence. Never underestimate the power of your influence as a father.
For primary survival reasons, the child adapts and conforms to those conditions while burying all aspects of their real identity. You cannot create a real connection with those who are conditioned to put on a facade to benefit others.
We see a common theme in society that promotes this disconnect with abuse towards children only to advance a sinister agenda of forcing them to be well-behaved. Most parents will use positive reinforcements when their children are acting negatively against their very own self-interest. If we think about that concept, we are preying upon our children and encourage their own self-harm.
This creates a child that does not seek the truth but looks for comfort in a false connection to their parents. We should always be guiding our children to do what is best for them regardless of how it makes us feel.
How can a child grow up and understand who they are if they are knocked down every time they get the courage to display their true self?
The vision we have for our children, and how we actually treat them is completely hypocritical. We want them to be full of life, but as long as they do not disrupt our life.
Growth doesn’t come from a child who will grow up in a home where those around them try to normalize their mistreatment and make excuses to cover up the abuses. Imagine having a problem with how you are being treated, and the one who is supposed to help you destroys you.
Doing this creates an environment where your child learns to endure exploitation in the family and denies any wrongdoing during childhood. This is just another way we allow abuse to continue and destroy any real connection.
To help your kids, you need to be strong enough to create an environment in yourself that can hold the emotional and physical intensity of being a good father.
YOU NEED TO SLAY YOUR DRAGONS!
You need to connect with yourself before you can be available to your child. You cannot hide the pain from your childhood at the expense of repeating the same mistakes in your family.
Having the courage to examine the way you parent will come from taking full responsibility for your actions. You cannot function accurately if you are not honest with the way you treat your children.
Sometimes this denial becomes so overwhelming you find any way to alleviate the pain you are holding inside. I spoke on The Family Alpha Podcast recently about how addictions are created from childhood.
Do you ever wonder where that little voice in your head comes from that puts doubt, fear, and insecurity in your mind?
We escape the pain caused by trauma in our childhood by using anything that makes us feel good at the moment. When you take an objective look at how you were mistreated, you now understand how it holds you back in life. Only when you are willing to acknowledge the wrongdoing and move past that fear can you help your child stop running from the same fear.
So how do we create a genuine connection?
You can do certain things right now to remove any roadblocks that don’t support healthy attachment.
STOP DOING THIS
- Criticism and humiliation when they fail
- Rejection when they’re not listening
- Threats when they disobey and are defiant
Your goals should align with your values. You should be testing yourself and your beliefs to see if they align with creating goodness. If we are not honest with this assessment, then we open our self up to unnecessary struggles.
You will not connect with your child if every time they try to gain your acceptance, they are criticized. Their efforts will not increase if humiliation is what they receive when an unrealistic outcome is not achieved. Don’t worry that they will stop loving you because what we are doing teaches them to stop loving themselves.
We have all been around that person who won’t shut up. Do you know where that type of adult is created? As a child, they were never listened to and continuously had their inner thoughts rejected.
When you use threats against your child, it creates fear. This fear is what fuels your child to become submissive or angry. No one likes to be threatened and feel powerless, especially when they think it goes against their best interests.
START DOING THIS
- Learn to active listen with purpose
- Negotiate to solve problems
- Let your kids know there is nothing wrong with them
To label things we know to be dysfunctional as normal sets us up for failure to create a healthy and flourishing home. Building a future with connection starts from within ourselves. If we are not at peace with the man we have become, it will project onto our children.
Learning to listen actively will give your child a sense of fulfillment. Children are very in tune with your body language and responses. Make sure you are giving them the attention they deserve. A child who never feels heard will find that attachment outside of the home, usually from other children who have been cast aside.
I can not emphasize how important negotiating is with giving your child a feeling of power over their decisions. Any relationship with strict adherence to another’s preference without acknowledging the other will create emptiness and disassociation. The goal is to stop focusing on whether your kid is doing what you said and giving your attention to living in harmony at that moment.
The last way to create a connection is the most important.
Think back to the pain you internalized when you were a child when everything was made to be seen as your fault.
- You aren’t listening – something is wrong with you.
- You can’t clean your room – you are lazy.
- Your parents are fighting – it must be because of you.
Since your child looks up to you, they internalize how you treat them, and failure of unmet expectations can send impressions of hopelessness to a developing mind. These little things set your child up to speak badly of themselves. You never want that sadness to be the building blocks of their personality.
It is a lonely crusade to continually have ideas that there may be something wrong with you.
Do not make your child feel that their presence is unwanted, and they can never do anything right. You have the responsibility to speak and act in a manner that helps your child develop a genuine vision of themself.
There is always a time to reconcile the past, but that only comes with honesty and the courage to grow. The connection will come naturally when we take responsibility for our actions and recognize the mistakes we have made in our parenting.
Once you better understand your role as a father, you can help lead your child to become their true self. Becoming comfortable joining them in their world now will have them welcome you into their world as an adult.
You guide them to who they are, and they have the capability to help themselves, which gives them the strength to help others.