Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ways You're Screwing Up Your Kids Right Now - Part 2

2. Resent your spouse or significant other
I can't tell you the number of parents who have walked into my office and have told me point blank, "our kids have no idea we are having problems."  I will tell you this as clearly as I can, that is a bunch of BULL!  One thing to remember, if you take nothing else from the words on this page, is that children know way more than you think they do.  They are attuned little things that pick up on everything from words to your non-verbal behavior.  Really?  Yes, really.

A big source of these problems in couples with young children are related to anger and resentment.  So where does all this resentment come from?  For us Moms of younger children, I consistently hear the main sources of resentment and anger comes from feeling that our spouses don't share in the domestic responsibilities, our spouses don't pay enough attention to us and that they are insensitive to our needs and concerns.  In turn, many Moms internalize these feelings because they feel guilty, bad about bombarding a spouse with these issues upon their returning home after work or simply because they don't feel their spouse will listen, care or change.  This internalization of angry feelings often times leads to angry outbursts which the other spouse feels "blindsided" by or full on meltdowns which can also cause the spouse to withdraw.  This pattern often times reenacts itself  over and over again promoting more distance between the spouses.  Most men don't like female rage, it's frightening to them, but there is a more effective solution to the issue.  It's called COMMUNICATION.

 The tricky part of this it that often times our ability to communicate in intimate relationships has it's roots in our family or origin's communication style and many times these were not the best models.  Until you figure this out, you may be reenacting your parents relationship without being consciously aware that your doing that!  First step is to think about whether or not your are communicating your feelings about the situation in the moment, and by communicating, I mean talking calmly, not letting it get to the point where you are outlining everything you're pissed off about since the beginning of your relationship 10 years ago.  That's a lot for anyone to digest.  It means you need to question, am I bringing things up as they happen and in the moment?  If you're not, you need to look at that.

Whether you are outwardly fighting, poking passive aggressive jabs at each other or simply avoiding, acting indifferent to or ignoring each other,you are not providing healthy models for your children and they know something is amiss.  Your relationship with your spouse sets a model for your children for which they will base future relationships.  Your positive relationship with your spouse provides your children with a secure base.  A secure base encourages a child's exploration of the world around them.  Without worry or anxiety about the security of the two people who are a child's world, a child feels safe to makes these explorations and take appropriate risks.  When a marriage is not strong it erodes at the child's sense of security and thus can inhibit his exploration, decrease his confidence and self-esteem and potentially cause a child to act out behaviorally.

No comments: