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Why am I correcting my children? Help with "what matters".

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I didn't know how to title this and couldn't figure out how to search for what I wanted, so hopefully I can gain some insight.

 

I'm starting to feel that I correct (for lack of a better word) my children just to correct them.  One example goes a little something like this:  We're eating dinner and my oldest child (3.5 YO) wants to be fed.  My partner does it, happily.  I get annoyed and then make a point to say, non-passionately, "Let's try to feed ourselves now."  Then I sit back, replay what just happened, shifting between wondering why the hell I care and coming up with reasons why I care (some acceptable, some ridiculous).  This happens for various things, but the food example is recent.

 

So, my question is, how did/do you figure out what things matter to you?  Book recommendations are also appreciated. 

post #2 of 7

This probably isn't very helpful but I noticed I was a bit "controlling" (that's what I would call it for myself) when my son was younger. over the past two years I really had to figure out if what I wanted my way really mattered. Does it really matter if dh puts the raincoat on ds instead of a fleece? Does it matter that dh husband let ds eat with his fingers instead of with his own fork? If it does really really bother me like dh wants to let ds watch 5 ,5minute videos in a row...yes, I will be controlling.

Hugs to you mama,It isn't easy mothering and it takes on so many self improvement journeys. The first step is recognizing our behavior,which you are doing. I hope I understood your post to and didn't go off on a tangent.

post #3 of 7

I've found myself in that position SOOOO many times.

 

The questions I ask myself when I find myself barking orders or getting irritated with small things are these.

 

If I feel like I'm controlling my children (ie wear this, not that; do this, not that, etc)...

- Is this a moral issue? (child wanting clothing I don't like or that isn't my taste = not a moral issue; child wanting clothing with slogans/graphics that promote bad things = moral issue)

- Am I preventing them from learning a life lesson (ie ordering them to wear a coat instead of getting cold and coming back in in 15 minutes for it)?

- Will this situation resolve itself if I don't intervene (coat scenario, child not wanting to eat dinner since obviously they'll eat at some point and won't starve to death, etc)?

 

If I feel like I'm getting irritated with doing small things...

- Will this take significant time out of my day?

- How much time will I spend griping about having to do it or getting frustrated trying to teach an unwilling child to to it, versus how much time it takes to just do it joyfully and move on?

 

Overall...

- Am I damaging my credibility in the eyes of my children? Their trust in me? Their respect for me?

- Is this going to matter in 15 minutes? Tomorrow? In a year?

- What is the benefit I get out of "getting my way" on this?

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyamber View Post

This probably isn't very helpful but I noticed I was a bit "controlling" (that's what I would call it for myself) when my son was younger. over the past two years I really had to figure out if what I wanted my way really mattered. Does it really matter if dh puts the raincoat on ds instead of a fleece? Does it matter that dh husband let ds eat with his fingers instead of with his own fork? If it does really really bother me like dh wants to let ds watch 5 ,5minute videos in a row...yes, I will be controlling.

Hugs to you mama,It isn't easy mothering and it takes on so many self improvement journeys. The first step is recognizing our behavior,which you are doing. I hope I understood your post to and didn't go off on a tangent.

 

I never thought about that as being controlling, but since I have a touch (wink1.gif) of that in me, I guess it makes sense.  Thanks for sharing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dela View Post

I've found myself in that position SOOOO many times.

 

The questions I ask myself when I find myself barking orders or getting irritated with small things are these.

 

If I feel like I'm controlling my children (ie wear this, not that; do this, not that, etc)...

- Is this a moral issue? (child wanting clothing I don't like or that isn't my taste = not a moral issue; child wanting clothing with slogans/graphics that promote bad things = moral issue)

- Am I preventing them from learning a life lesson (ie ordering them to wear a coat instead of getting cold and coming back in in 15 minutes for it)?

- Will this situation resolve itself if I don't intervene (coat scenario, child not wanting to eat dinner since obviously they'll eat at some point and won't starve to death, etc)?

 

If I feel like I'm getting irritated with doing small things...

- Will this take significant time out of my day?

- How much time will I spend griping about having to do it or getting frustrated trying to teach an unwilling child to to it, versus how much time it takes to just do it joyfully and move on?

 

Overall...

- Am I damaging my credibility in the eyes of my children? Their trust in me? Their respect for me?

- Is this going to matter in 15 minutes? Tomorrow? In a year?

- What is the benefit I get out of "getting my way" on this?

 

Thank you for your comprehensive list, it gives me a lot to think about.  I'm finding a lot of my issues are irritation at the small things, which makes me sad. 

post #5 of 7
Subbing. No advice, but definitely noticing my own tendencies. SO unattractive and unproductive! Thanks for opening this discussion.

I will say, at this point, that I would likely have relaxed by this time if DS were an only child. Having the younger one in the picture created a lot of potentially dangerous situations many times each day. Fear definitely drives my control issue. Maybe we should ask ourselves "what am I afraid of" each time we start to criticize or correct.
post #6 of 7

I think it that situation I would have been thinking "great, now he's going to want me to feed him all the time when daddy isn't here and I'm NOT doing that and now I'm going to have to argue and tell him he's big enough to feed himself and then it's going to be a big battle and dh won't ever get it because now he's at work and I'm trying to eat my own food and now I can't  and I have to deal with the monster he created". 

 

Or maybe that's just my house :)

post #7 of 7
Oh, excellent point! We share that very real concern, and it totally happens. My son is so spirited, and all the wonderful things he gets DH to do with and for him aren't always compatible with what I can or choose to do when I am alone with kids all day. Every day DS asks me to dress him entirely and other things he is very able to do. He is turning 5 next month. So I totally feel you.

You actually just inspired me to have a loving conversation with DS about WHY I choose not to do some things that DH chooses to do. I cannot take DS to skateparks as easily as DH can alone with him, as I also have to watch DD (2). I have to help her with many things, and I should be more positive about pointing out how big and able he is, and letting him know more often how proud I am for his big boy abilities. Not sure if something similar would apply for your situation.

I've also noticed DH being more insistent on DS doing things for himself, within age appropriate range. Perhaps he's become more sensitive and/or aware of how those things can effect us when he isn't home. Does that make sense? Have you told your husband your point of view?
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