Why you may think I’m a cruel mother

Cruel motherThere are bad things in this world and bad things happen to everybody at some point.

Every child and childhood has problems and difficulties along the way.  Some children may get more than their fair share and some problems may be bigger than others but I believe we have to treat them in the same way.

As a parent, we have to understand our child is hurt, listen and offer support.  But we shouldn’t allow that problem to shape them or to become an excuse for bad behaviour, not achieving or giving up.

Part of my job as a parent is to help my children have the strength to deal with the problems that they will encounter in life.  I will support them but I will not be their crutch or allow them to have excuses.  They have to develop means of surviving by themselves in that big bad world.

If you tell a child that they are a victim, they will stay a victim.  You may not say it directly, but you can imply it by focusing on those that have hurt them in the past.  If you say to your child, “I understand that you are insecure and scared because you were bullied in the past,” then surely you are re-enforcing that insecurity label, resulting in them being more likely to be a victim once more.

However, if you state, “You have dealt fantastically with the bullying in the past and I know you are strong enough to deal with …..”, you are giving them the self-belief that they are confident and independent, which will carry them forwards over the next hurdle life gives them.

By wrapping up our children under the term ‘support’, we can actually encourage them to be reliant on us and never deal with their own problems.

I do wonder if some parents actually subconsciously desire this.  They may be lonely and have only their child so wish them to stay close to them.  But they are not allowing them to fly independently.  They are clipping their wings to make them emotionally reliant on them, which won’t help the child when they are an adult.

Of course I believe in supporting my children.  But I also believe in enabling them to be able to support themselves.  We shouldn’t protect a child so much that they can’t protect themselves.  We should enable our children to be able to be resilient against the attacks of others.

Tasha and Kaiya went through a very difficult time Two Years Ago When My World Fell Apart and I am currently paying for them to have counselling to be able to talk through the events.  But I have consciously not over-compensated or said that they have issues because of their father as this would lead them to believe that they are victims of his behaviour.  They are not victims; they are children who have experienced something negative (as have thousands of other children).

If this comes across as cruel parenting, then so be it.  But my children will be strong, motivated and fulfilled adults with the knowledge that they can overcome whatever life throws at them.  I won’t allow them to feel sorry for themselves or have an excuse for their actions.  They have to take responsibility for their own actions.

Michael, my eldest, demonstrated this on the day that he was in the house when my ex came in drunk, shouting and swearing at me.  He subsequently witnessed the police arriving and arresting his father.  Less than three hours later, Michael took his A Level final exam.  There was no talk of him not doing it or consideration of using his father as an excuse if he failed.  His failure or success was purely down to him on that day.

Two months after the exam, Michael found out that he passed with flying colours and I was immensely proud of him.

I am not saying that he was unaffected by the events – of course he was upset and shaken up.  But he had the inner resources to be able to acknowledge and manage those emotions in order to be successful.

Too often I hear adults blaming their actions on others, complaining about what life throws at them, yet not changing anything about their circumstances.  They still haven’t learnt to take responsibility and are still perceiving themselves as the victim, waiting for someone to come and support them.  Yet, as adults, we have to be independent and make our own choices.

If we don’t support our children to be able to be able to manage life’s knocks and treat them as victims of those who hurt them, we create adults who also see themselves as victims and remain unhappy and unfulfilled.

For your children’s sake, don’t let them see themselves as helpless victims of others’ actions.  Give them the strength and resilience to allow them to fly for themselves.

flying bird

The Dad Network
Single Parent Pessimist

8 Comments on Why you may think I’m a cruel mother

  1. Claire Jacobs
    September 19, 2015 at 7:52 pm (3 years ago)

    you are not being a cruel mother, you are trusting your instincts and your own belief system.
    resilience is a key thing for us to grow throughout our lives in order to cope with trauma that happens to us all.
    I guess the only thing to be mindful of is that too much resilience can cause people to have too high a wall, to be scared to break it down and see whats inside, so its about getting the balance.

    I get where you are coming from totally, independence is key but we do also need to recognise that sometimes we can be affected by things and find it hard to function for abit, and thats okay, and we can lean on others to help us rebuild and again thats okay.


  2. BritishMumUSA
    May 25, 2015 at 2:41 pm (4 years ago)

    Bravo and I do see where you are coming from. There is a FINE LINE between self confident and victim. As parent we play a pivotal roll in helping navigate our children to the ultimate goal of being well rounded adults.

    I have a graduated senior who is off to college this fall who was so badly bullied freshman year that we had to pull her form school. She was never labelled the victim, and it took us that summer to build her back up, and the next three years to the point of being confident enough to go half way across the country to attend college. Mid west to the West Coast 🙂

    Boy parenting is like walking a tightrope every day !!!

    BritishMumUSA recently posted…Nearing The Finish Line, Again!My Profile

  3. martyn
    May 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm (4 years ago)

    great post. I think that there is a fine line but I do believe that there is a level of independence that allows them to be strong and confident. We can do this through love and support without going to an extreme. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there next week
    martyn recently posted…Things my Parents saidMy Profile

  4. Stacey
    May 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm (4 years ago)

    It can be a fine line between being supportive and teaching them to support themselves. My parents tried to tell me how wonderfully strong I was for dealing with the bullies and I didn’t want to disappoint them so I simply didn’t tell them what was going on. Imagine their surprise when they were called to the school because a girl broke my arm, or another kid had actually cut me. I did the same thing years later after my rape. I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t handle it, until I actually couldn’t. In both cases, I did eventually stand on my own, but I definitely needed the support for when I wasn’t able to.
    Stacey recently posted…Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center on Mother’s DayMy Profile

  5. Lucy
    May 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm (4 years ago)

    So so true! If only,my mother had your attitude, I could be where am now 20 years ago! Xx

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