We are so worried about raising polite children that we miss moments to connect. We are so fearful of what others think about our parenting that we punish away any uncomfortable behaviors our children display. We are so focused on manners + respect that we will do anything to ensure they walk the line, even if it means we ourselves never extend manners or respect to THEM.
I was spanked.
I was sent to my room for talking back.
I was afraid to feel emotions or disagree or speak up because my caregivers were afraid of my emotions and of me disagreeing and speaking up. I didn’t know how to acknowledge or communicate or process because I never had safe space or people to do this with.
I will tell you, fear + shame does not raise polite, well mannered, respectful children. It raises anxious, afraid, insecure, disconnected, untrustworthy ones.
Do I set limits? Yes.
Do I firmly remind my children that we do not hit? Of course.
Do I extinguish all but the happy feelings or behaviors my kids display? No. All are welcome, especially the messy ones… Let me see you. Let me know you. You don’t scare me. You’re safe here to process. That is what love in action looks like.
I’ve spent a long time returning to myself. I’ve worked hard at welcoming all of my feelings. I’ve busted my ass to set boundaries + rebuild my own self trust. I’m no longer afraid of speaking up or disagreeing or having an opinion. I had to learn that as an adult.
I’ll be damned if I repeat the cycle.
I know you’re doing your best. I know you don’t want to have “jerky” or ungrateful kids running around. But 🔊 HEAR ME WHEN I TELL YOU… children who are given respect will give it back. Children who are accepted will accept others. Children who are heard will learn to listen. Children who are loved + seen + safe will spread this goodness into the world. We need more of this goodness.
It starts at home.
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