Loosening the Grip of Control through Self-Reflection
As parents, it’s our instinct to keep our children safe. Parents want to control the outcome of children’s choices with expectations, so they tighten the grip of control.
This tightening can turn into micromanaging; eliminating the opportunity for children to build trust and resilience. By allowing and supporting our children in decision making [teaching them, not doing it for them], they get to experience the results of their choices. Children will fail. Trust when they do, there is learning and the results influence future choices.
Become aware of your agenda for your children. This offers an opportunity to explore where the need to control comes from in you? Controlling is based on our conditioned or limiting beliefs, and learning to let go takes time.
Control is the shadow side or opposite of caring. What if you chose to respond to unexpected grades by connecting with your child’s emotions instead of from a need for controlling the outcome, asking “How are you feeling about your grades?” or asking “Do you want to do better?” These questions come from a place of curiosity versus judgment.
The path to loosening the grip of control includes healing our old wounds, our conditioned constructs. The inner work of self-reflection offers parents an opportunity to turn the lens on themselves.
Ask yourself these questions; how do they speak to a need for control:
- What do I not trust?
- What am I trying to control in myself?
- Where do I feel that I am not good enough or less than at times?
- Where do I see myself as unworthy or a failure?
We need to practice self-care or we will become depleted. When we don’t tend to our own healing, we’ll find the behaviors in our children reflected in ourselves—if we are willing to look.
But if we ask ourselves the right questions and do our own work of self-reflection, we are better able to approach our children with curiosity instead of fear, and to foster a healing relationship in which they can grow.
Healing is loosening the grip of control.
It’s not too late.
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Solutions Parenting Support, LLC is a nationally recognized parent support and transition program assisting parents and families with straightforward and compassionate skills based support prior to, during and after wilderness therapy and/or residential treatment. Solutions is a dynamic team of parent coaches who have had extensive careers as therapists in wilderness therapy or residential treatment before turning their talents towards coaching parents around the globe. The team is family system focused and are licensed professional therapists and/or social workers each with 15-30 years of experience working in wilderness therapy programs, varying levels of residential treatment programming, and transitional support.