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Parenting After Estrangment

(10 Posts)
Starblaze Fri 22-Nov-19 13:55:45

Inspired by a conversation here, those who have parented after abuse, how has that led you to positively change your parenting?

An example for me is that my NM was always extremely critical. It just demotivated me to the point I just stopped trying because it made no difference, it wouldn't be good enough anyway.

As a parent I'm really careful about being critical. Never use labels like difficult or naughty. I always tell my children that their best is absolutely good enough. If they say they can't do it, I always say you can't do it yet. I'm careful not to do the reverse either and put too much pressure on by saying they are so clever and amazing etc.

What have you learned?

HolyHannah Fri 22-Nov-19 14:35:23

I would say that I learned, of all relationships, to LISTEN. Be consistent and be patient. Some of how my parents raised me was good. It was the overall attitude in our 'home' that was not. Also, no two sets of rules.

Hithere Fri 22-Nov-19 15:17:13

I agree with Holyhannah,
1. Listen and adjust my expectations to a realistic view
2. I follow the same rules I want my kids to follow
3. Suggestions are given in a positive way
4. Ask my kids for their permission to be touched, kissed, hugged - bodily autonomy is huge
5. They picked their own clothes and favourite activities- within reason.
For example- wear proper winter clothes, they don't have to match.
6. They have a pick on what they want to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner from options I give them but once done, they have to eat it.
No changing minds 3 min later

I see my kids as little people with their own personalities, talents and goals in life.
My job as a parent is to help them maximize their potential and teach them good morals, not for them to blindly do what I want submissively.
They are not my extensions or do-overs of what I could not achieve as a child myself.

Starblaze Fri 22-Nov-19 15:46:34

Yes! Listening! I did have to ban myself from saying not now and start scheduling thens

notanan2 Fri 22-Nov-19 15:56:18

Its really important to make sure you dont go too far to the other end of the spectrum in order to not be like your parent.

E.g. if they were too strict dont be tol permissive.

Some people get so pre-occupied with being un like their parent that they do an equal amount of opposite damage!

notanan2 Fri 22-Nov-19 16:00:24

Dont be dogmatic about your parenting style. Be open to learning about what is needed from you. Let go of being dogmatically pre-occupied about what you don't want to do. I think thats really important.

E.g. you may have had your free spirit and creativity stifled by parents who told you that only academia and serious subjects matter. But your child may thrive on academia and structure and not be into airy fairy creative endeavors. So adapt to parenting the child(ren) you've got, do not be the parent YOU needed as your child is not you and it is not a re-do

Hithere Fri 22-Nov-19 16:02:51


You are so right! I keep in mind daily

Starblaze Fri 22-Nov-19 16:16:23

Completely agreed Notanan. I've had to work on it a lot because I had a real problem with discipline for a while and children need healthy boundaries. So the answer to strict discipline in my childhood that typically involved being locked out of the house or having my things taken and broken is not no discipline at all and I had to find the right approach.

Smileless2012 Fri 22-Nov-19 16:48:25

My paternal GF wasn't a very pleasant man, as children we were never comfortable being at our paternal GP's house even though our gran was lovely.

He was a good dad to my aunt, but was always hyper critical of my dad and his brother; putting them down, nothing ever good enough etc.

My mum said when they married he swore he wouldn't be like his dad but sadly for my brother he was. Great with me; hypercritical of my brother.

Sometimes as well as going too far the other way not to be like a parent, the determination not to be can make you just like the person you didn't want to be like.

It was like that for my dad and I've seen it happen in other families too.

notanan2 Fri 22-Nov-19 22:33:06

Yes I suppose it can go that way too Smileless.