Paula, “Try to never show them anger and if you do, always tell them it’s not their fault.” Tip 4
There’s some mixed opinions on Paula’s tip #4, in whether to show anger. Difference among not only participating Moms, but also among researchers.
Some Moms advise showing children how you feel, while others disagree. I understand thoughts surrounding each train of thought. As for me, I subscribe to hiding the ugly feelings.
I didn’t want Michael to see me angry, sad, afraid, or struggling. I guess I wanted him to only know happy things. Of course, as children age, and become more astute, they witness, and understand, a bit more.
It was my goal to guard him from any misery as long as I could, while carefully introducing the possibility of misery up ahead – back to the ‘ballet.’ This is where the delicate dancing again came into play.
It’s not as if I was Mary Poppins, by any stretch. I guess I didn’t want to expose him to adult issues before his time. My sadness, anger, and upset, were not his issues. I felt he should never be concerned with my troubles.
To me it was important Michael saw I was in control. In demonstrating control, I had hoped he could always feel safe and protected. I wanted him to play and not worry. I’m sure if he were to see me curled up and crying in the corner, he would become fearful, and rightly so!
The argument could be made, we should be honest and real with our children. I also subscribe to that perspective, except for if it is to hurt them, worry them, or make them needlessly afraid.
I think this is a tricky area. What I know for sure, both Paula and I have done our best to look strong and dependable in the eyes of our children. Maybe we have had to be extra diligent, to compensate for others who did not take the responsibility of parenting as seriously as we did?
I did introduce ugly feelings, and story lines, for dissecting and discussing; however, I attempted to keep the real stuff back so as not to interrupt Michael’s childhood or his development. I believe every minute spent in worry, would be one less minute spent progressing.
Thanks again Paula! I appreciate you taking some time to share a piece of your journey!