You’re raising the next Nice Guy!
Most “traditional parenting” philosophies rely on punishment or the threat of punishment to control kids. When you use these methods, you’re facilitating the creation of these Nice Guys.
When we use force and control upon children, there are two reactions, rebellion or submission, along with the coping mechanisms of each. These mechanisms include being aggressive, destructive, full of rage, feeling helpless, victimized, needy, and passive-aggressive.
The truth is your child cannot have a true sense of self if his father doesn’t provide the skills necessary to become a man of integrity. If your child is programmed to please everyone, he will fail ever to please himself.
When the primary focus promotes that only good behavior will bring happiness and fulfillment, you set your child up for future failures.
How do we ensure that our sons grow into men who understand their inherent values? I believe this to be constructed in childhood, and the classic behaviors associated with being a “nice guy” can be easily related to how you were treated as a child. If you’re exposed to an unhealthy and low-nurturance childhood with constant stress and anxiety imposed by your parents, this will start the build-up of toxic shame.
This shame is deep-rooted into the child’s personality and becomes normalized for survival. Creating a strong family foundation helps to alleviate this pain. Find out how to start here!
It’s the start of creating thoughts that there must be something wrong with you. This seems to be internalized at a very young age and can be combated by fathers implementing and practicing peaceful parenting.
Forcing compliance through aggression builds toxic shame and models lower-order thinking that will trap the child into using lower-order thinking as an adult.
What are some ways fathers model negative behaviors?
Yelling, use of punishment or threat, physically imposing postures or actions including spanking. Continually dismissing a child’s needs either aggressively or passively sends the message that the child’s needs are unimportant. They will internalize this and may fail to develop their sense of self-worth.
“Just about everything a Nice Guy does is consciously or unconsciously calculated to gain someone’s approval or to avoid disapproval.”― Robert A. Glover, No More Mr. Nice Guy
Children express their needs and desires in emotional ways such as crying, temper tantrums, yelling, full-body meltdowns. Repeated messages become hardwired into the child’s brain. If parents repeatedly punish or actively dismiss these needs, they teach the child their needs are not important and fail to teach more effective communication strategies.
Parenting is a primal instinct we have been neglecting in the current dysfunctional climate, and we desperately need fathers to embrace this energy of masculinity. It should come naturally, but unfortunately, the father’s role has been diminished.
Regaining your parenting power comes from hard work.
Peaceful parenting is needed but requires a heavy initial investment, which sets the groundwork for a much more relaxed teenage years-and that’s why some people accuse peaceful parenting of being lazy or permissive. They merely watch the fruits and assume that no initial work was put in.
Parents have a responsibility to teach their children the communication skills needed to survive in the world. If your parents constantly expressed how important their needs were and never considered yours, this creates a classic scenario of putting other people’s needs and wants before your own.
If your parents did not take the time to explain things to you and display patience during difficult times, then these were essential skills you never understood.
Expressing your needs as a child would frustrate and anger your parents. This leads to you thinking everyone else’s needs are more important than your own. Unfortunately, most parents are unaware of how damaging this may be, and they enforce their needs with punishment and discipline.
Since punishment is one-sided and favors the parents’ needs being met, a child will usually become submissive. To avoid punishment, they will quickly learn that their parents will love them if they are reasonable—a covert contract for the future.
When parents demand their needs be met and use aggressive ways to get obedience, their child will look to do everything right to have a problem-free life. Oddly these are the children that parents praise and admire but are highly likely to become the ones who are a classic Nice Guy.
If a child becomes rebellious and expresses dissatisfaction with how they are being treated or that their needs are not being met, they are usually dealt with more severe forms of punishment. Parents will become increasingly more frustrated and angry with their defiant child. They will resort to longer punishments, more brutal spankings, and an increase in physical discipline.
There is overwhelming evidence of the adverse effects associated with hitting and spanking your child.
This will typically create a child who eventually submits to power. They will hide their flaws and allow others to control them. They become disconnected from other masculine men, as their father punished them for being masculine.
We can’t have it both ways, unquestioning and compliant children who become powerful leaders and problem solvers. When children are allowed to display their personal preferences, it opens them up to becoming authentic versions of themselves.
Not being allowed to display these preferences with their parents creates a fear of being vulnerable. We are taught to hide our emotions from others for the sake of not disrupting their life. This sets a child up with never finding comfort because they are trying to live up to someone else’s standards. They learn to hide their authentic self because there are consequences for expressing this freely.
I strongly suggest a more peaceful and positive parenting approach when raising your children, especially your son. If we learn to communicate, set boundaries, and understand the power of our own choices, then our kids will not be afraid to be themselves.
We can not expect children to grow up knowing their desires, wants, needs, and beliefs if we are suppressing this during childhood.
We must raise our standards as fathers and help guide our sons without force, threats, hitting, and manipulation.
To often we fail to see depression, emptiness, fear, or grandiosity as the tragic loss of self in childhood. Raising healthy kids is not easy, but it should always be a father’s goal.
We should be speaking out against spanking and all forms of abuse inflicted on our boys. Spanking teaches a child that they are powerless and they can’t stop the abuse.
As fathers, we should be supportive by showing them how to set healthy boundaries. The best way we can do this is by modeling this behavior with them.
Recovering from being a Nice Guy is difficult. Preventing your son from becoming one is essential.