How many of us found good results when we changed ourselves?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by busywend, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I always said my child was 'parenting resistant'. When she got to a certain age, I sort of stopped parenting her. Maybe 16 or 17. I was fortunate that she never was interested in drugs, alcohol or sneaking out.

    I guess I am just curious how many of us have seen improvement after we made changes in our own selves? How many of us saw changes when we just stopped trying to change something?
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Provocative inquiry BW. Thanks.

    I have seen improvement in every area of my life when I've changed. Significant improvement. Profound improvement.

    I've had so much therapy that I think at this point I just think in a certain way based on all of that mind bending self analysis, challenging affronts to my belief system, identifying and shredding my inherited mindsets and judgments............sometimes pretty daunting!! However, to the degree that I was willing to keep an open mind and let go of any cemented beliefs, I changed......and everything changed.

    What is that saying? "If you change the way you look at things the things you look at will change."(Wayne Dyer.) For me, all of my life improvements have been an "inside job" meaning that I have the power to shift my perceptions which change everything.

    I can't change others, I can't change what life brings to me, I can't control most everything, but I have absolute control over myself, my perceptions, my judgments, all of it..........and for me, that's changed my life.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Every successful change we have seen in our kids has been the result of first changing ourselves. Not that that is the only part of the picture... but it seems to be a key part.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It's a good question. The way I look at it (could be wrong, natch), some children are born with constitutions that are grounded enough, together enough, independent enough that as long as they not treated abusively, they will grow and develop more or less as they should. Being thwarted or frustrated will not faze and derail them, they will not be riddled with anxiety at uncertainty and change.
    Our difficult children are not like that. They need a lot of extra help with negotiating life and their emotions. The only way one can do that successfully is by being aware of one's own functioning and emotions, and thereby knowing how to control them to some extent. You can't help someone else pilot a ship if you don't know how to pilot your own.
    That said - this is still very much work in progress this end...
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love this post. I think it should have been on "Watercooler" so everyone could participate.

    Nothing changed for my kids until I did. Having my own life has freed my kids, and did even when they were younger. When I stopped attaching my own worth to their achievements, it was good for everybody. 35 did not get that. I breathed when he did. My life was almost 100% devoted to "helping" him. What a burden for a child! Perhaps that is why he has it so hard now. He still is very resentful if I won't spend 100% of my time on his problems. Jeez! I was always overly concerned with him, always excusing him, always finding my own ways to make his behavior better, but he is 35 now and is still struggling in every area of life.

    The best thing I ever did for my kids was to fight for their rights, but to allow them space from my angst about them as well and for them to see ME enjoying life even when they were struggling. The evidence is the difference between 35, who was born smart (gifted) with many academic skills that he never really used, and Sonic, who was born with cocaine in his system. Sonic got the benefit of my ability to detach and not take things personally and he is, in spite of his disability, a happy, well balanced young man who is far more capable of taking care of his emotions than 35.

    I read a great book, in the middle of my angst with 35, called "Parents Who Love Too Much." It changed the way I parented forever. Below is the link to this book, if anyone is interested. I met the author. He lived in Chicago and became my therapist for a while.
  7. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    The only person I can really change is myself. Living with so many difficult children I hold onto that. I have to be at the top of my game or no one functions well here. Lately my depression is getting worse and the tension in the house has gone up, too. difficult child 2 is also having a hard time. My approach to helping him is first to look at myself and what I need to change about myself to help him. Second is medications. There hasn't been enough time for the medications to kick in yet. I have already noticed an improvement to what I'm doing differently with him. difficult child 1 on the other hand it doesn't matter how good a parent I am he is still going to be difficult.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Definitely. First, I had to be more consistent. I did everything I should have done, just not on a strict schedule. For example, dinner had to be at the EXACT same time. I HAD to follow through on discipline. difficult children do not understand shades of gray. And I had to learn not to yell back, at least when it was a situation where difficult child didn't have a clue as to what was going on.
    I also had to learn not to feel guilty. :)