Have you ever called your friend dad?
The nails in the fence
Once upon a time there was a little boy who got angry quickly and then freaked out. So his father gave him a hammer and a large pack of nails:
"Every time you get angry and freak out, you go to that picket fence and drive a nail into it."
The boy agreed, even if he didn't understand the point.
The next day the boy hammered 30 nails into the fence. The days went by and with each passing day there were fewer nails that the boy pounded into the fence. He realized that pounding nails into the fence was easier than freaking out.
One day it finally came to the point where he didn't freak out at all. He proudly announced this to his father. The father took him by the hand and went with him to the fence:
"From now on we'll do it like this: For every day that you don't freak out, you can pull a nail out of the fence again."
The boy agreed again.
Again several days passed before the boy ran to his father and informed him that there were no more nails in the fence. The son was very happy.
Together they went to the fence. The father said to him:
"I am very proud of you. You have done a great job. But look at the many holes in the fence left by the nails. The fence is no longer what it used to be. "
The boy agreed with his father and the father continued:
“Remember this the next time you say something angry to other people. Your words could scar the way those nails left their mark on the fence. Even if you apologize, the scars remain. "
When I heard this story for the first time years ago, a shiver ran through me. Words can leave scars. I knew that and yet it happened to me too.
I scolded my father about my children. Too hurt, disappointed, sad and angry about the fact that he had left me.
In the last two and a half years I have heard many such statements in my counseling and I would like to introduce you to the 20 most common sentences.
- Your father is an idiot.
- Your mother is a bitch.
- If you go to him or her now, you don't even have to come back.
- If you don't like my upbringing, then move in with your father or mother. I'll see what you get out of it.
- I beg your pardon? You played with the new one? The new guy got you to bed?
- Have you met your father's 10th wife by now?
- Your mother's new husband is a solid.
- I want to know everything. Come on tell me. What have you done? He doesn't get it baked anyway.
- The new wife has no idea about children. She won't see you anymore.
- Your father left us here with no money. You can complain to him that you can't get new jeans. He is to blame.
- Your mother throws the money out the window. I'm not paying him any more maintenance. I am not crazy.
- You act just like your father. You act just like your mother. Nothing can come of you like this.
- Your dad makes a good life for himself while I stand here alone with all the stress.
- Your father or mother does not know how to raise you properly.
- Your father doesn't care about us.
- He or she will bleed in court for this. I promise to you.
- Your mother is a nasty snake. Women are always preferred anyway.
- Because your mother acted like that, I ran away. I couldn't help it.
- Your father is more important to his new family than we are, otherwise he would get in touch.
- I missed you so much when you were with dad or mom. I feel better when you are with me It's much better here, isn't it?
What is behind these statements?
A very big pain. The powerlessness, helplessness, fear, anger, hatred and sadness are the emotions that make us carried away such statements.
Now you are probably thinking.
Yes, but that's how he or she is. Should I lie to my child and pretend that I think mum or dad is great to protect my child?
No! You should not do that.
Four years ago, after I said a nasty sentence about my father's new girlfriend in anger, I realized that it couldn't go on like this. My daughter still remembers that statement today and it left a hole in her fence. I had got her into a loyalty conflict.
What can we do?
Everyone is talking about the fact that we should keep the best interests of the child and their needs in mind. Easier said than done, if we haven't learned to deal with our intense emotions surrounding a divorce or separation and see the only solution in reducing these feelings through manipulation, struggle, power or withdrawal.
In this case we “vent” in front of the child by complaining about the behavior of the other parent.
Your child can't handle it! They don't have the skills and will do everything in their power to make you happy.
As long as we as parents do not learn to deal appropriately with our painful emotions, we are the real children!
And how should children decide about children?
If you recognized yourself in one of these sentences, then the first thing I would like to say to you: It's great that you have read this far. Second, I don't know any person who can always control himself. That is normal and human. However, if you notice that the sentences are occurring more often, ask yourself what is the feeling you cannot cope with?
In my book I tell you in detail how I dealt with my anger so that my daughters no longer hear these statements from me. Find an external friend, coach, mentor, counselor, therapist with whom you can work out ways to deal with your feelings really well and not to express them in this way in front of your child.
My sentence is:
“You will surely notice that I am angry, sad, angry etc. when the name of your father or mother is mentioned. But you can't help it, it's not your fault. It is my responsibility to learn to deal with it. You are the child and I the adult who takes care of you and loves you. "
I firmly believe that we can manage to leave fewer nails in children's fences.
I also wish you as few nails as possible in your fence. You deserve that as well. This is the only way you can be there for your child.
Start and dare to turn to your pain and then overcome it. You can do it!
I wish you and you all the best.
All the best
P.S. Your child is only fine when you are fine.
What do you think?
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