There are many good children, teens, and young adults out there. These young people are good to straight A students, do their chores and homework with little or no prodding, do not act foolhardedly, and do not cause their parents trouble. However, their parents never praise them and constantly find SOMETHING WRONG with them. Even though these young people are near to perfect, it does not seem that way to their parents. Their parents maintain that their children can always be .............BETTER and that their efforts are CLEARLY NOT UP TO THE BAR so to speak. Neighbors, teachers, friends, and associates of these parents marvel how well behaved such children are, remarking to the parents that THEY SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR SUCH CHILDREN. However, this is ignored by such parents. Critical, perfectionistic, judgmental parents.........ugh! Let us discuss this!
Too many children have parents like this...parents who have forgotten that they were once children. This is very hard on children who tend to be perfectionists themselves. I think many parents want their children to live out their dreams for them and forget that we need to teach and train our children in the way they would naturally go with their gifts and talents are they develop. We need to be their best, but honest, cheerleaders.
I currently have one of these children in my home, gmwilliams. Her mother is so unaware of the amazing gift of this child that she is willing to simply hand her off to me and my husband so that she doesn't have to struggle to take care of her.
Certainly her loss, IMO, because I think this young lady is phenomenal, and intend to do everything possible to help her recognize that and show it off to the world.
Could be the parents are insecure in themselves and are projecting their own feelings of inadequacy onto their kids.
The kids will either internalize the message that no matter what they do they will never be good enough (ignoring the external cues that they're actually quite successful)
or learn to ignore their parents' criticism and forge their own lives, almost in spite of the negativity of their overly harsh parenting.
I've seen both reactions.
Yes, there are some who are naturally self-confident and will forge ahead, a blessing.
And I think you hit the nail on the head about the parents being insecure in themselves.
That is true. There are many severly critical parents who clearly are unhappy with their lives. Many of them did not achieve THEIR goals, are miserable, and using that displacment mechanism on their children. They want their children to achieve the things that they never achieved. They believe that by constantly criticizing their children that THIS would make them more successful.
Yet there are other parents who know that their children are smarter than they are. They criticize their children because of an inherent jealously, knowing that their children have the gifts, smarts, and talents that THEY do not have!
What a great forum post!!!! I do my best to encourage my children to follow their dreams as much as possible and to feel good about themselves. No matter what the circumstances in my life are, I let them know that they are precious in God's eyesight as well as my own. If things in my life didn't turn out the way I wanted them to, that's my problem. I can't make live out my dreams just because I didn't take the necessary steps to fulfill my own. Nothing drives a child away more than the constant criticism and negative comments. I do believe in letting my children make their own mistakes, how else will they learn? What may work for me may not work for them. Stand back and let your children fly and explore their own lives!!!!! If we as parents have given them the necessary and proper instructions, they will be fine.
I have seen this and I have also seen some of these parents attempt to kill their children for being more educationally gifted. I have had to report it to authorities more than once.
I agree with MM on the most common root cause. I feel the reaction of the children, though, can range from permanent damage to self-esteem (often trickling over to relationships, career success and other areas of life) to massive efforts to overcome the damage and live life on your own terms. But even those who escape somewhat often carry deep scars. Perhaps some kids can learn to let the memories die off, but that's rare. Those who are able to do that often point to a teacher, grandparent, aunt, uncle another adult mentor who helped them develop a more balanced view of themselves.
Sadly this is true...I remember a verse that I always held dear when bringing up my children."Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged" (Colossians 3:21).I think this should be a golden rule for every household.
What age groups are you talking about?
While older teens & young adults can be left to make some of their own mistakes & "fly free", the same tactics cannot be used on a toddler or preschool child.
"Sure son, go ahead and stick your finger in the outlet and see what happens." ~ I think not.
"Go ahead and pull the boiling soup off the stove and burn yourself, maybe then you'll learn from your own mistakes that it is hot." ~ come on.
We need to get specific as to what age groups are being discussed.
Yes, children need guidance, they need praise, they need understanding, and they need to figure some things out on their own.
No, it isn't right for parents to condemn their children for every little thing that they do.
If you ask your 8 year old to wash her own dish after dinner and she leaves sauce all over it, then it is your responsibility as a parent to bring her back to the job she did and help her understand that it was not done properly and how to do it correctly.
If your 16 year old doesn't know how to fill out their first job application, it is perfectly acceptable to assist them through it. They don't have to be rejected because they don't know what they are doing and you (as the parent) want them to be independent and get the job on their own.
If your 22 year old son, who has been out on his own for a few years finds himself in a pickle and wants to come back home to live in his "old room"... now you can show some "tough love" and tell him he needs to figure things out and stand on his own.
I just think the forum could use a little clarification on age, that's all.
I'm split here. I fully believe that children are sent directly to us from Heaven, and are worthy of praise, love and kindness on a different level than the rest of us. I really bristle at the notion of children being seen and not heard. They must have a voice in their own homes and lives, or else they will not understand how to have one in the world at large and dangerous, even violent situations may befall them. But, as a child of a mother who told me essentially that I could do no wrong who has now grown into an adult who struggles with the need to be liked or thought well of by everyone I think that a little dose of reality from mom and dad may be crucial. Who else can tell you what you need to edit about yourself with more love and care for your overall well being and future success than your parents? There is a delicate balance to tough love, and when applied correctly I think it is the only strategy to rearing confident and caring human beings. When you get all warm fuzzies I fear that you develop into someone who has a very hard time dealing with the lumps life dishes out, whether big or small.
You are so right!!! My apologies!!!! Younger children definitely need to be shown direction with a firm hand. Of course when your children are older, they need more guidance and understanding. But like you said, they too need that "tough love" to get them motivated about what direction they want to take in life. Again, my apologies......I guess I got caught up in the conversation. Thanks for pointing that out to me!!!!!!
I believe that we parents can teach our children through our imperfect responses to life situations and other people (including our children). We should often acknowledge our failures and our regrets and our desires to grow and change. As we communicate this, our children will also learn from us how to deal with the imperfections and disappointments in life around them. This was something I've had to come to grips with.
I am so thankful for one friend who told me that we should expect to be disappointed because it's rare to trust completely in another human being, because at some point we will fail each other.
That was true wisdom (the flip side is that only God is perfect), and this is how I now enjoy each day I'm given, and especially the people, including my children and those of my friends, who are placed in my life. Each one is so unique and has such a story to tell that is so different from mine. They become part of the adventure of my life.
Hey guys I myself am a 16 yr old who has to deal with this everyday. my mother is what i think unappreciative she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and is need of a hip replacement surgery. I have to do everything for her. I mean i have to clean cook and i have to help her out in the bathroom as well. and all she ever does is yell at me and criticize everything i do. She may not notice but evrything she tells me hurts me more deeply than a stab to my heart. Everyday i go to sleep crying because i dont know what to do. I have to older sisters and they are in here but one of them is against my mom because of the way she treats her and the way she treats others and my other siter is on my mom's side but never does anything to help her she comes to my house about every two days and when she does she never cooks, cleans, or do anything for my mom she just lays down on the bed and uses my laptop yet my mom still has the ignorance to talk to her about how i need to pay more attention to her. truth is i dont know what else to do i have no social life what so ever i stay at home everyday to help her out and i dnt make friends because even if i go out she yells at for not being home with her so there is no point. I have always dreamed about being in a nice relationship but i cant do it with a mother always on me. She cant talk bad about me because I'm a straight A student on the high honor roll at school and i dont smoke drink or anything yet she has no trust in me. All i wish is that god could clear their minds so they realize how they are acting my sisters are hurting not themselves but their children. and my mom is killing me with everything she does and everything she says. I dont know what to do. I've been dealing with this same problems for 16 yrs of my life and she has always talked to me negatively and everytime she starts to insult me i just try y best to ignore her but every time its becoming harder and harder. sometimes i think about just leaving n=but i dont have the heart to leave my mom like this. also i doubt that with the way she is no one is gonna bear her she criticizes anything because to her only when she does it is perfect. Im really just tryna live my own life as a teenager and i cant because eveyminute of my life im worrying about my mother yet she doesnt realize everything i have sacraficed for her ; friends, relations, my whole social life. i just want her to change
Teddy, I am sorry I didn't spot this post earlier and write to you sooner. I am sending you one hundred hugs for all the effort you have made to be a good son and a good student and a great member of the human race. I'm proud of you. If your mother didn't have so many problems, I'm sure she'd be proud of you too.
Here's what I want you to know and to remember. You don't owe your mother anything. Your mother is walking her life path. She's making her decisions about her life and doing the best she can. But unfortunately she doesn't seem to be doing the best thing for you. She should be, but obviously she's not up to it right now.
So, young man, it is up to you to look after yourself. You have your own life path, and you have to make your own responsible decisions. If you need to leave your mother to protect your own sanity and concentrate on your studies and set yourself up for a happy and productive adult life, then go. Talk to your grandparents, talk to your school counsellor, talk to the parents of your friends, talk to anyone and everyone you can think of until you find someone to help you and somewhere to go. Do not stay at home with your mother if she insults you and expects you to clean and cook and help her out in the bathroom. Cooking and cleaning is fine. Yes, every 16 year old should help with that. But it sounds like you have two adult sisters who could step in and help your mother. Let them take over.
You look after yourself. Don't let yourself get depressed and don't lose sight of the options that you have. You are almost an adult, and I am expecting you to achieve great things in your adult years. You are on the high honor roll at your school. That's great. You don't smoke or drink. That's brilliant. Your mother might not trust you, but I do. I trust you to do what's best for you. Make yourself a good future.
Go on, Teddy. Ask people for help. Ask for help until you get help. I know you can do it. Good luck.
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