“I say this with love: Let go of the story of having such a difficult or disrespectful child. It’s not helping. Telling this story again and again has you looking for problems rather than solutions. It has you creating your own stressed out reality and strained relationship with your child. Your energy goes more to seeing what is wrong with him rather than what is right. It also has you focused on controlling him rather than loving him. To tell you the truth it’s not his behavior that is the real problem. It is your behavior that needs addressing. You are using his behavior as an excuse and distraction from cleaning up your own inappropriate behavior. You are unregulated and inconsistent, and it is a problem. It is hurtful and counterproductive to what you want to create.
As long as you commit to seeing the worst in him while at the same time avoiding your own behavior, you will continue to struggle in a chaos of your own creation. Your self regulation is your responsibility, not your child’s. You choose how you act. This is about you. You are the adult and he is the child. Start acting like it.
Ignore this if you will, but the key to the calmness you seek in your home is to first be calm yourself.
This is a lucid letter I wrote to myself one day. Yes, I have compassion for myself …but I also speak the truth, because I need to hear it.
A while ago, I did not want to take responsibility for my hurtful behavior. I tried for a long time to shift the blame onto my kids. So, in a moment of truth, I wrote some truth. I’m glad that I listened and took responsibility for my actions.