This Month’s Parenting Class: Do I Parent Using Shame?
Our family vacationed at a cabin nearby one weekend. My son, who has ADHD and is a highly sensitive child, was a little overwhelmed with his new surroundings and was quote “bouncing off the walls.” He could hardly contain himself as he ran up and down the stairs, asked the same questions over and over, and was incessantly picking on his younger sister. I had, had enough and exasperated, I asked the question, “What is wrong with you?!?!?”
Have you ever done this? Have you ever used these words or something like them? Many of us have, we may not do it intentionally, but when we are pushed to our limit we can easily fall into making an unwanted behavior our child is expressing, about them personally, and not about the behavior itself. Shame seeks to harm, not guide the child in correcting the behavior. This is actually not effective in getting them to change their behavior, and can do harm to their identity.
The problem for most of us is, we don’t necessary recognize when we are “shaming” our children in our effort to discipline them. If we can become aware of our propensity to shame, then we can take steps to use other tools when disciplining. Here are some symptoms of shame-based parenting that might help you decide if this is a repetitive issue for you. Here are a few questions you may ask yourself.
1. Did I grow up in a “Toxic Shame” environment? Studies show that if you have been raised in an environment where your parents used “shaming” to parent you, you will unintentionally do the same thing. None of us were born with a parenting manual so we use the tools of experience and environment until we educate ourselves with other options. If you have suffered abuse as a child in any capacity, or had parents who struggled with addiction, it is highly likely you suffered shame based parenting as well.
2. Do you withdraw when you are hurt? Many times we as parents will hear a voice inside our heads that speaks to our insecurities. A constant critic ready to berate us at every turn for every decision made. If this sounds familiar to you, odds are these feelings may come out as anger in relationship to disciplining your children. We do not live in a vacuum. What we believe about ourselves will affect how our children view themselves.
3. Is your discipline mostly consistent? When children are criticized for a behavior one day and the same behavior is ignored the next day, it tells the child that it is not the behavior that is “wrong” but that “they” are wrong.
Parenting is hard. I don’t have to say this to you, I’m guessing you already know this, but let me say it again anyway, It .Is. Hard. We long so desperately to do it right and we are fallen human beings who get it wrong in some way, every day. This can feel overwhelming at times. Know that becoming aware of your parenting tendencies can lead you out of shame, and into an empowerment that you can actually DO something to change. Shame based parenting can be learned but it can be unlearned as well. There is hope for us and if we are willing to confess our struggles we can become more emotionally healthy parents and raise more emotionally healthy children.
- Parenting Class 1: The Shema
- Parenting Class 2: Physical Changes in Teenagers
- Parenting Class 3: Rewind and Fast Forward
- Parenting Class 4: Rebel and Repeat
- Parenting Class 5: The Power of a Symbol
- Parenting Class 6: The Power of a Shared Experience
- Parenting Class 7: The Power of an Aplology
- Parenting Class 8: Sibling Rivalry
- Parenting Class 9: Harnessing Your Spiritual Influence
- Parenting Class 10: Planning “On Purpose” Time with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 11: Taking Pride in Who God Made Them to Be
- Parenting Class 12: Responding vs. Reacting
- Parenting Class 13: Choosing Wisely
- Parenting Class 14: Failure and Success
- Parenting Class 15: Shepherding Their Heart
- Parenting Class 16: Friends
- Parenting Class 17: Broken Trust
- Parenting Class 18: Listening
- Parenting Class 19: Lines of Communication
- Parenting Class 20: Shared Hobby
- Parenting Class 21: Teens in Crisis
- Parenting Class 22: Training Your Teen to Be a Leader
- Parenting Class 23: Supporting Your Teenager’s Small Group
- Parenting Class 24: Investing in a Strong Relationship
- Parenting Class 25: Back to School
- Parenting Class 26: Guiding without Controlling
- Parenting Class 27: Thoughts on Praying for Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 28: Establishing a Trust Economy with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 29: Helping Your Teenager Learn to Manage Money
- Parenting Class 30: Why Does Parenting Seem So Lonely?
- Parenting Class 31: How Do I Help My Teen Through the Death of a Friend?
- Parenting Class 32: How Do I Know When My Teen Needs Counseling?
- Parenting Class 33: Learning How to Apologize to My Teen
- Parenting Class 34: How to Stay Out of My Teen’s Drama
- Parenting Class 35: Knowing When to Stand Strong
- Parenting Class 36: Connecting with Your Gamer
- Parenting Class 37: What If Your Teenager Has a Bad Friend
- Parenting Class 38: Friendship Drama
- Parenting Class 39: How to Have a Tough Conversation with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 40: Teens and Cell Phones
- Parenting Class 41: Looking for an Identity
- Parenting Class 42: Help Your Teen with Social Media
- Parenting Class 43: Is My Teenager Self-Obsessed?
- Parenting Class 44: The Pressure to Be Perfect
- Parenting Class 45: Cyberbullying
- Parenting Class 46: Goal Setting with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 47: 3 Types of Spiritual Conversations You Can Have with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 48: 3 Questions to Get Your Teenager to Start Talking
- Parenting Class 49: The 3 Seasons of Being a Teenager
- Parenting Class 50: Rage vs. Anger
- Parenting Class 51: Connecting Through the Written Word
- Parenting Class 52: Their Safe Place
- Parenting Class 53: Developing Gratefulness in Your Teen
- Parenting Class 54: Helping Your Teen Deal with Stress
- Parenting Class 55: Teaching Your Teen Responsibility
- Parenting Class 56: Helping Your Teen to Develop a Personal Devotional Life
- Parenting Class 57: A Godly Relationship vs. a Good Friendship with Your Teen
- Parenting Class 58: Teaching Your Teen to Be a Better Example to Younger Siblings
- Parenting Class 59: Shame vs. Guilt
- Parenting Class 60: Punishment vs. Discipline