By Being Human, I mean that we are able to connect with other people, including (especially?) our children through listening, understanding, and reflecting what we hear and see in a way that is kind and caring. Perfection is most often a comparison to an external rubric that is set by someone else who doesn't necessarily have your values at the center of their process.
Perfection in parenting is trying to do it all "right", Being Human in parenting is learning to connect.
When we operate our family systems by the value systems of others, we often find that there is conflict, demand, pressure to conform, and a requirement to abandon your own wants and needs for the ones upholding the family system. At best this creates disconnection, mistrust, feelings of not being seen or understood, and isolation. From the child's perspective there is no one to help them, and so they learn not to look for help. This is often carried into adulthood and creates a likelihood of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
If this is your family legacy, as it is mine, I'm so sorry. I know what it is to feel alone to solve problems and situations that you may not be able to articulate, much less understand, as a child. If, like me, you don't want this to be your children's experience of childhood, I am here for you.
Setting up an environment that does not repeat these childhood experiences requires a change to the family culture. If we want to change our family legacy of harm we must learn to inhabit a different perspective than the one that supports behaviors of harm.
Changing our own behavior without changing the underlying narrative isn’t enough.
If we don’t change the narrative that supported harm it is inevitable that the harm will continue to happen. That we enable others in the family to continue their poor behavior and even we will respond from those old perspectives and narratives when we are tired, overwhelmed, or stressed.
In my family my parents' primary mode of communication was yelling. So, when my kids were little and I was frustrated, overwhelmed, and exhausted, I would yell at them. And every time I felt so awful, knowing, even as I was doing it, that I didn't want to repeat this old family pattern.
Changing my behavior looked like "just don't yell", but it wasn't that easy. It wasn't about willpower, it was about learning new techniques for expressing my disappointment, or for taking care of myself when (and before) I was beyond exhausted. It required a change in my narrative about how to meet everyone's needs, and who I was to my children.
A change in family culture is the only way to stop the behaviors from being transmitted from one generation to the next.
Author: Jill clifton
Hi, I'm Jill, creator of Landscape of Mothers. I'm here to talk about breaking family patterns of harm so that we can parent our children in ways that support them becoming fully themselves. I'm happy to have you here!