As parents we often have the best of intentions when we discipline our kids. We usually want them to continue or stop a behavior or learn a lesson. It is often what our parents did with us. Yet, when we were lectured instead of listened to, yelled at instead of having a respectful conversation about what was important to our parents or rewarded with our parents’ attention only when we behaved, instead of receiving loving attention no matter how we behaved, how did we feel? Some common feelings are ashamed, sad, depressed, anxious and insecure.
When we discipline our children, what really matters the most is how they internalize our actions and then what beliefs they create as a result. Thinking back to how we may have felt when we were lectured, punished or withheld love can bring up a lot of adverse feelings. Over time we likely have created beliefs about ourselves that quite possibly are still with us today. Beliefs such as, “I don’t have a voice”, “I’m not worth loving” or “I don’t matter” are just a few of the limiting beliefs we can subconsciously create. Our children are having the same negative mindsets and creating the same demoralizing beliefs, which have the potential to hold them back from living up to their potential or even worse, from living at all. It is SO important we recognize how our actions are affecting our children so we can empower and support them to grow up as healthy, happy, well-adjusted adults.