Signs That Your Parenting Fears Have Overtaken Your Parenting Love

by Yafa Crane Luria


Have your Parenting Fears overtaken your Parenting Love?

Last week, we looked at the all-too-common habit we parents have of parenting with fear.

To be sure, we love our children. That is not even a question. And yet, we often find that our parenting fears have taken the steering wheel and we have left our Parenting Love in the back seat, trying to navigate a powerful and headstrong driver indeed.

Fortunately, there are very clear signs to detect whether your family is functioning in a healthy manner (about 70+% love) or whether fear is in charge.

Signs that your parenting fears have overtaken your parenting love:

  1. You’re angry nearly every day. Anger is a sign of fear – fear that something will be taken away or that you won’t get something you want.
  2. You’re not sleeping well. Stress will definitely mess with your sleep.
  3. You have to tell your child/teen to do something at least 5 times. Yes, 5 times is too much, even with an ADHD child or teen. When your behavior plan or family rules don’t fit your child or your family, you won’t see results. It’s not your fault though. You just haven’t been given the key to unlock the treasure chest that is your child 🙂
  4. You’re thinking about your child’s future, like 3-5 years ahead, with dread. This fear is really paralyzing because we start questioning everything we’re doing. Is it too little or too much? Am I helping or hurting?
  5. You’re wondering if your child will get into college. College seems to be the big stepping stone to success for most parents. No college, no success.
  6. You’re wondering if your child will be living at home past age 28. You may be reading some scary statistics about ADHD and thinking that your child is pretty disabled. This is not necessarily the case, but some experts find fear is a good tool to use (I’m not sure why).
  7. You have an argument with your child or you raise your voice several times a day. It seems like almost everything you say sets off your child/teen and you have no idea why. This indicates that you’re not communicating well. It usually also means that both of you are afraid. Your child is afraid that you don’t think he/she is good enough, despite your praise or reassurance. Sensitive kids feel your disapproval more deeply and will exaggerate it.
  8. Your child is defiant and/or argumentative. When parents are fearful, so are the kids and often they will push you because they see it as a way to get you to be the parent. Defiance is a sign of emotional distress in your child. It’s not a power play.
  9. You and your spouse are fighting more than you think is healthy. Yes, behavior challenges definitely affect marriages, particularly when your parenting styles differ.
  10. You resent being the parent. This is a really important sign because the only way parenting can work is when your child gets to be the child and you take on the parent role. This is called “Parenting Synergy” and it works like a magnet. For magnets to connect, you can’t put the same poles together, you need one positive pole and one negative pole. It’s the same with parenting – one pole is the parent and one is the child. You can’t connect unless the poles are “opposite.” Seems obvious but look at this: In an authoritarian household, the parent actually wants the child to be an adult. The parent expects behavior that is more mature than the child’s developmental age. In a lenient household, the parent wants to be a child/friend and play with the child. This parent will often relinquish his/her parenting duties (like discipline) because he or she doesn’t want to be “the bad guy,” as they see their role. This is a parent that isn’t being an adult. When both the parent and the child are, in effect, children, there is no “parenting synergy.”

Now what?

Try a 50 minute introductory consultation. Let me give you some strategies to get you started. No judgment, no pressure.

xo, Yafa

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