My Hubby and I started chatting the other day about our eldest daughter, as we have been advised by her teacher and therapist that she see a specialist. She has behavioural issues and she also struggles tremendously to concentrate for a period of time. So her therapist would like us to get her to the doctor to rule out or pin point any issues she may have.
In this chat, my Hubby and I almost accidentally came to the same conclusion. We have not been parenting our girls, we have been micromanaging them!
An example: The girls are riding their bikes outside. We eaves drop on everything that they say, as a matter of habit. You can hear that they are starting to disagree with one another. Then, as predicted, an argument ensues. Before they can even finish their argument, one of us has stepped in and started to take control of the situation.
You see, we realised that by listening in, you have inadvertently already picked a side. Once the argument starts, YOU have gone in to dish out judgement and punishment. You are controlling THEIR argument.
What we have been teaching our kids is that Mum and Dad will sort out all your problems and they don’t have to do anything!
Another thing we realised is that when the kids misbehave, they get an angry or aggressive responses from either one or both of us. Not to say that they particularly like this kind of attention, but it is attention none the less.
The main reason for an angry or aggressive response to misbehaviour is a tired parent who has been interfering in all of their daily disputes, problem solving and making peace for them – when they should have minded their own business!
Both of us cast our minds back to when we were growing up and neither of us could recall much adult supervision. Our parents were always there but they let us figure things out for ourselves. We had to get out of scrapes, talk through disagreements with our siblings and LEARN.
So, what we decided to do was to IGNORE the kids as far as their daily interactions with each other go. Basic needs are to be met and love showered over them but otherwise they will be IGNORED!
It has been a week since we started this and already we have seen an improvement. They are sorting out their own disagreements, are doing things for themselves and are also helping each other and showing each other a lot more affection.
Micromanaging is all about control. Kids are little people, not robots. They need to learn about the world and how they fit into it on their own terms. You cannot teach or tell or show your kids how to do everything. I think you are doing your kids an injustice if you do!
Doing what I did has enabled me to have long uninterrupted chats with my Hubby and be able to think about anything I like without being constantly interrupted by my kids. Sounds like grown up stuff, hey?
I have also realised that I do not have to be in tune with my kids all the time. They need to know that I am there if they need me and that I love them no matter what, but that I do not have to interfere where they clearly do not need me!