Is Your Child Afraid Of You?

NoMorePerfectKids_COVToday’s post is from a mom who attended my No More Perfect Kids workshop this past weekend at the Hearts at Home conference.  There’s no better gift to an author or speaker than a letter from someone who has applied what you’ve taught and it’s made a difference!

In the workshop (and in the book), I shared 6 Dangers of Perfection Infection Parenting. One of those dangers hit home for her.

I asked her if I could share her letter with you and she agreed. I know she’s not alone in this and maybe another parent might see himself or herself in her story.

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Dear Jill,

I have to share something that happened tonight with my 9 yr old.  We have been having trouble with him lying to us. Before I go further, let me just tell you that I’m a yeller.

Anyway, tonight, I caught him lying again. I asked him (not yelling, very calm and quietly) why he lied. He didn’t answer. I grounded him from all electronics, TV included, for the next day. Then I told him to go to bed.

I went downstairs and told my husband what happened. He proceeded to tell me that Nathaniel is afraid of me, and that he doesn’t tell me things because he is afraid of how I will react.

This instantly made me go back to your No More Perfect Kids seminar from this weekend at the Hearts at Home conference. Danger #4: Children [of perfectionist parents] will relate to parents from a perspective of fear. My baby is afraid of me. That hurts my heart.

I went upstairs and took him to my bedroom and we had a talk. He admitted that he is indeed afraid of me. We both cried. I told him I was sorry and asked his forgiveness. My baby, who was sitting next to me, crawled into my lap and clung to me as we cried some more. He also said he was sorry, and for the first time it wasn’t a forced apology or one that you have to hint for. He offered it freely.

I told him I was going to work really hard at not yelling so much, and I told him that if I started to scare him, to just say, “Mommy, are you working hard?” Just a phrase to remind me of what I promised to work hard to not do.  After a short prayer, we both wiped our tears away, and he headed off to bed.

Thank you so much for your ministry. It has truly blessed me this weekend.

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I told this mom that I was really glad she wasn’t defensive when her husband told her what he did.  She said,  “I must admit that my first reaction was to be defensive, but I kept it to myself, and listened to what he had to say.”

We can not only learn from her story, but also from her response to her husband.  We need to throw defensiveness out the window because it doesn’t serve us well as parents or partners!

What about you?  In what way can you relate to this mom’s story?  Have you ever benefited from keeping defensiveness to yourself?

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2 Responses to Is Your Child Afraid Of You?

  1. Jesika says:

    Really clear. thankful to you.

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