There is something inside of me that expects my kids to obey me, because they love me and want to please me. I know that’s wrong thinking. The problem is that I was a people pleaser as a small child, and continue to struggle with people pleasing as an adult. I’ve always had this deep down desire to try to make people happy. I obeyed as a child as a way to show my love for my parents. Nothing crushed my heart more than feeling like I had let them down.
Somehow when I became a parent I started transferring my own dysfunction onto my kids. I don’t want them to struggle with people pleasing like I have most of my life. It’s really hard for me not to expect them to be eager to comply with things I ask them to do out of their love for me.
I remember when my kids were young and first started to disobey. It crushed me. Then add to that the fact that three of my five kids are strong-willed. I’d get extra frustrated when they didn’t listen to me or would forget all the wonderful parenting instruction I’d given them. You know those things that we repeat over and over again to our children.
“These are nuggets of wisdom, my dear children.” I’d think…sarcastically.
In my mind, I felt that they should love me so much that they would want to please me as I had sought to please my own parents. This was the start of a root of bitterness for me. I was feeling hurt and unloved by my own kids.
Of course, I was viewing everything all wrong. My kids loved me. They were just little sinners, just like me. They also weren’t bent like me. Call it different “love languages” or whatever you’d like, but my perception was skewed.
I remember the moment I realized that I needed to forgive my kids for hurting my feelings. I hadn’t noticed that I was harboring bitterness. It seemed strange to think that I had this underlying hurt from my children — whom I loved so much.
I also knew that I had to work on my problem with people pleasing since it was affecting my relationship with others. I was created to please God, not the people in my life. I also needed to make sure that I was teaching my kids a healthier way of approaching things than I had for so many years.
We are all works in progress. We serve such a patient and loving God. I’m so thankful for His grace over me…and my parenting. I’m getting there. I catch myself faster these days when I’m thinking backwards about my kids behavior.
Blessings and joy,
P.S. If you’d like a free digital copy of my Sanity Savers for Moms book, you can get a copy here. I hope it blesses you. I also have some really fun giveaways going on with my Simply Joyful Podcast. Be sure to check it out HERE.