“Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?”
― Jane Nelsen
Interesting quote this morning. For me personally, being humiliated is probably the worst situation I could find myself in. I would think that this is pretty true for most people but I feel it so intensely that I can’t even watch movies where people are being humiliated. I know that most of those movies are supposed to be funny and a lot of people see the humor. I feel the embarrassment and the humiliation and the wish to just disappear from this earth.
Having these feelings is the reason that this quote resonated with me this morning. Many times we, as adults, talk to our children differently than we would talk to another adult. Most of us would not try to humiliate another another adult and yet we do it to our children, often without thinking. I know during my life as a parent that ” how many times do I have to tell you…” has come out of my mouth. Or ” you are a big girl now, you should know better”. Or ” why can’t you just remember to…”.
I would never dream of telling a friend “how many times do I have to tell you to be more quiet” and yet I know that that is the way I sometimes phrased it when telling my children. Of course, when I was telling my children it was also always followed with a big sigh just to emphasize how frustrated I was, thus throwing just a bit more humiliation at them in case they missed it in what I said. Looking back I know that most of this happened in my “Witch on a broomstick” phase but that certainly is not an excuse.
I have said it many times and will most likely say it many times again, that if I did not get help in learning to be a better, calmer, more connected parent I would not have the relationship that I have with my daughters. Seeing this quote today made me really realize why. I certainly would not want a relationship with someone who talked to me like that.
So…You will get frustrated and disappointed and angry at your children. How you handle that frustration and anger and disappointment is up to you. Will you humiliate them to make your point or will you take a deep breathe, relax a bit, wait until your thinking brain kicks in and talk to them in a calm and connected way? Think about how you would like to be talked to and and then make your choice.
Have some fun today!