Friday, February 15, 2013

Changing our Negative Patterns

We all have habits that we would like to change or behaviors that we wish to change (or maybe urgently need to change).  Whatever the case, we need to take responsibility for our actions.  One thing that's easy to do as a parent is to loose sight of our goals by licensing our behaviors....what the heck does that mean? Here's an example...
One of my parenting goals is to be a patient parent.  What does that look like?  I want to be a parent that yells rarely, listens often, helps to problem solve, and gives appropriate consequences when needed.  So, what derails me from these goals? When I get frustrated I often excuse my behaviors by thinking about how I could be worse (you know, spanking, screaming, alienating, abusing drugs, lol!) Yeah, of course there's crappy parents out there and if I compare myself to them I suddenly feel much better and my behaviors become excusable (at least in the moment!) Maybe you compare yourself to your parents and say "Well, at least I'm not doing THAT!" This kind of thinking may excuse your behaviors in the moment but it will keep you with guilt and keep you from being the kind of parent you want to be.
If your guilty of licencing your behaviors, than being able to identify these patterns is half the battle!  Focus on what kind of parent you want to be and compare yourself to the kind of parents you admire (instead of the ones you dislike).  Ultimately, you are the only one to compare thoughts with because you know the kind of person you want to be and what you need to do to get there.

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