Stop Blaming Your Children – Why YOUR Failure Isn’t THEIR Fault
“Hurray up or we are going to be late!”
“Well if you would just put your boots on the way I showed you we would be leaving by now!”
(In the car) “Aarrgg! Now we are going to be late….again! I am so frustrated and I don’t know what it is going to take for us to leave the house on time!”
(From the back seat) “I’m sorry, mommy.”
Does this sound like a conversation that you have with your child?
I am sad to say that incidences like this were all too common for my children and me. So much that by the time my oldest was 4 years old, he was pre-apologizing for making us late every time we left the house, even when we were going to be on time and I was in a good mood!
As a mom, there are so many details to remember and tasks to accomplish in a day while caring for little people that often require full to moderate assistance with daily living. Leaving the house on time was always my greatest challenge.
Until I owned my victim mentality I didn’t really understand the problem was my relationship with time, not the gorgeous little people who called me ‘Mommy’. What I needed to do was be realistic about how long tasks took, prepare and leave the house 15 minutes earlier, not get angrier at them for something they were not old enough to be responsible for.
Do you hear yourself making your children your excuse for falling short?
Do you use your children as the excuse for not achieving the goals or dreams you had for yourself or your business? I started my Life Coaching business working from home with my youngest home half the day. I loved my work and my clients, yet I would still use him as the excuse to clients why I could not meet in person.
The truth was I was choosing to be home with him and not employ daycare services and I chose to have children in the first place. The lie is that somehow it was his fault as if the stork suddenly dropped him off at my door without asking me.
Blame and victim are insidious, toxic parts of our thinking that we are not always aware exist. They stem from the belief or feeling of being trapped or without choice. It’s easier to make someone or something outside of ourselves the scapegoat for our discomfort.
The long term cost to our children hearing or even perceiving this blame (children are much more perceptive that we give them credit for) is growing up with a feeling of shame. The definition for shame is this – You didn’t just MAKE a mistake, you ARE a mistake. That is a huge weight to try and shed off once it is internalized.
Making a change is possible! It’s time to stop the blame game and move toward what you want:
- Be prepared – Set out what you need the night before.
- Set a timer for yourself so you know when to start a task with time to complete (like leaving the house), or have your morning alarm go off 30 minutes early.
- Ask for support – You don’t need to be a hero to everyone! Try sharing childcare with a friend to give you a few hours of alone time to work.
- Decide what you really want – If you could dream up your days, what would they look like? Get clear on the actual structure you need and put a plan in place to create as much or all of that vision.
- Be realistic – Set your goals based on what is possible now and make a plan to create the rest. Raising children requires time and flexibility.
- Don’t multi-task! Pretending to be present to your child while also talking on the phone and typing is ridiculous, and the fastest way to look track of time. Use the timer to spend focus time with your child, then again to have small amounts of focus work time (depending on the age and needs of your child).
- Communicate with your children – Even at 18-months-old your child understands much more than you think. Tell them what your timer means and what they can expect from you. Children catch on quickly and will go with the plan as long as they understand when they get 100% of you.
You do not like being blamed for something you know was not your fault, and neither do your children. It’s time to own up to your results and use the tips listed above to start the change them.
I started telling my children that being late was my fault and not theirs, based on my poor planning. I still let them know when I was frustrated, and made very clear it was about me and not them.
When you own your successes AND your failures, you have more to celebrate and greater learning to move forward with. Set bigger goals and get more efficient work done ‘during school hours’. Best of all your children know they are not the reason for my failure, and a huge part of my success as a mompreneur.