Destroying your child’s self esteem in the name of “good parenting”

hello everybody and happy Tuesday I’m
Dr. Laura Dabney relationship
psychiatrist coming to you live.
I usually talk about intimate
relationships between obviously
boyfriend/girlfriend husband/wife type
of things but this month we’re talking
about parenting.
The toughest job you’ll
never never be thanked for and this has
brought up a lot of comments and a lot
of talk around here so that’s all good.
so I thought we would continue on from
last week and talk this time about self
esteem.
 there’s a lot of people come in
with the wrong impression of what good
parenting is thinking that it’s going to
create a great person or a great
relationship and in fact these methods
hurt your child’s self-esteem or keeps
the self-esteem from growing
so although executive helping executive
men with their intimate relationships is
my thing as I’ve told you here several
times and I’ll just keep saying it this
is my way of helping anybody who is
having emotional problems relationship
struggles of any kind this is a way to
make you feel more comfortable give you
some help until you’re ready to come in
pick up the phone call email however you
reach out to us all right and I also do
than the men come in about relationship
problems often times it is with a
adolescent child or a young adult child
so that’s where I’ve gotten all this
information synthesizing it all for you
here today and this month so the
parenting techniques that seem good to
some people or seem good on the surface
that really aren’t start with the good
soldier technique maybe because we’re in
a military community I don’t know but
there are a lot of parents who think
that the child who is obedient yes sir
no sir type that that’s a that’s a good
kid right there and there’s nothing
wrong with bad manners who not saying
and manners is something you need to
teach a child for sure but an obedient
child is not a good shot I actually
cringe when somebody comes in and the
child’s in college and they’ve been a ok
the whole time because that means the
child has not be able to practice the
other thing that they need to be
well-developed human beings that can be
in a relationship and that is their
aggressive skills ok you by making them
by insisting they be obedient you’re
giving them one skill ok and that is to
learn how to be passive humble to learn
to take direction all those things are
important but what about being the
leader the authority figure the one
gives direction how can they learn that
if you don’t practice that with them
also all right I hear so much of this
obedience part is they have to respect
me they have to respect me but somehow
if the child has their own idea their
own way of doing things or if they’re
disobedient that somehow they don’t
respect the parent a child first of all
like anybody else has to
you have to earn their respect but more
importantly the question is why don’t
they respect you ok that’s the question
should be asking yourself what’s going
on why is he acting out it’s so much
more valuable than just keep trying to
shove your way and your stuff down his
throat ok
helping the
letting letting the child have their own
way you know give you a little guff a
little pushback is healthy for that
child that is where they get their
self-esteem all right there’s no self
esteem what self esteem is involved in
saying yes sir
yes ma’am whatever you say there’s no
self esteem in that it takes some self
esteem some guts some bravery to say you
know what just doesn’t work for me
I understand it’s what you did it it
doesn’t work for me okay
you gotta let him have a little bit of
that you gotta lose once in a while hmm
this is really great when your child
comes an athlete and a sport that you’ve
never done or maybe you used to do play
that sport with the child let them win
let them beat you okay let them know
when you’re wrong okay being able to
admit you’re wrong
and letting your child see that so
valuable this is the whole flipside okay
to the passive I’ll do whatever you say
I’ll take it orders as if I’m in the
military they’re not in the military all
right this is totally different than the
military our family is not the military
you cannot superimpose what you learned
in the military or what someone else
what you think the military is because
when you get into the military you’re 18
this child you’re developing this child
well before they’re 18 they’re first
born they’re 18 they’ve already learned
hopefully from good parenting how to
take orders and you know when and how to
take orders when and how to give some
kickback some pushback right they should
have already developed these things your
if you do this this is this is your
parenting technique you’re missing out
on teaching your child the other side
the other half of the equation plus
in losing and admitting you’re wrong in
graciously accepting some opposing views
or pushback
you’re showing your child how to do that
you’re demonstrating for yourself how
your child should behave when they’re
faced with somebody who is pushing back
has a different viewpoint right you have
to show them both sides of the coin so
they can learn both sides of the coin
make sense okay that’s where they get
their self esteem from me let’s say hey
I beat him and I feel pretty good about
that III I told him out another way I
wanted to do this and that makes me feel
good that’s self esteem okay the other
parenting technique that seems so lovely
on the surface but isn’t is feathering
the nest that’s been gotten a lot of
media attention with the whole adult
kids living at home let’s take that
little bit further because people as a
parent when your child hurts you hurt I
get it
I’ve been there as I mentioned before I
have two adult children now I know how
much that hurts so it’s a little
self-centered sometimes when you try to
you look like you’re helping the child
but you’re really just solving the pain
for yourself it’s not always the best
thing to do again we’re back to balance
if you don’t let your kids struggle with
something if you step in to solve every
problem give them everything it keeps
them from having the pain that’s
necessary to make changes in their life
and to reach for something and to obtain
it okay
feathering the nest there either
there’s it’s tricky because when you
give them something and you saw the pain
they’re like oh thank you thank you oh
my gosh thank you so much it feels like
a really warm and fuzzy place and wow
he’s always gonna remember
and she’s going give that back to me one
day not how it works okay that’s
short-lived and again that’s just half
of the equation there are times to step
in and we’ll talk about that in a little
bit but if you’re always stepping in
never letting have the pain and they
don’t get to develop the self-esteem to
work through a problem think how many
think think about this
well how many times if you had a had a
algebra problem you couldn’t figure out
in class and then something you figured
it out feels so good when you wanted to
take on an exercise program or learn a
new skill
oh god it’s so painful it’s so difficult
but when you solve it that’s where
self-esteem develops you know what about
when you stroke that check for your
first fancy car or your first mortgage
check and you did it yourself huh it’s
huge
don’t I begged my parents don’t take
that away from your child don’t rob them
it’s if you have males or even females
it’s emasculating you’re taking you’re
sort of saying you it’s a message you
can’t do it don’t believe in you okay
I’ve got to save you I’ve got to save
you either for myself don’t use my own
pain or because I don’t really believe
you can do it
so you’re undermining them as well all
right when you give them the pain let
them have the pain let them work through
it let them figure it out yes they may
whine they may complain they may look
dejected down it’s a little bit like the
best example I can use is when they’re
learning to tie their shoes okay they
absolutely have no idea you have to step
in but then they start they start and
they struggle struggle struggle struggle
watch watch when they struggle don’t
jump in because they may be able to
figure it out right or may have another
way of doing it even that’s even better
and you’ll have missed it
you love robbed them of that possible
if you step in there now exception is if
you’re watching and they get more and
more frustrated to the point where they
sort of meltdown I don’t just mean have
an emotion here I mean actually stop
being able to function that’s when you
step it and as the child gets older and
older and older you step in a little
differently you step in and you take
them take it over when they’re little
but when they’re older you step in by
saying what’s your plan do you need some
assistance you ask haven’t you had
somebody come in and say okay you can’t
deal with that I got it when you had a
plan it’s very annoying don’t do that to
your older child ask them step in watch
you want to be more of a safety net now
for big problems then stepping in for
every little problem
that’ll help their self-esteem
tremendously okay lastly some of the
opposite is giving a child too much
space I’ve talked in here about this
we’ve talked about this a lot giving a
child space is a good thing we just
talked about that right giving a space
to make mistakes figuring it out going
through the pain but there’s some
distancing techniques that parents
sometimes kid themselves is giving them
space when it’s actually not it’s
actually hurting them and their
self-esteem let me give you an example
we’ve we’ve come a long way actually as
parents we now know physical distancing
isn’t the best idea
I see dads making great strides to try
to be there for all kinds of things so
physically we’re more on top of that
which is a good thing but there’s some
symbolic and emotional distancing the
parents do that again seems kind of good
on the surface but really isn’t let me
give some common examples so either
being their best friend
yeah that’s a common one
talking about your problems with your
child
revealing problems with them and
discussing them with them giving your
responsibilities to your child
keeping turning over parenting
responsibilities to them alright these
are ways that oh and then not stepping
in when you see a meltdown like we just
talked okay when something is dangerous
going on you’re not stepping in those
the four ways that you are abdicating
okay get that you’re leaving the
parental throne your parental position
now here again children can look like
this is a good thing they’ve pushed you
aside with fear or they’ve said oh how
wonderful that you’re my best friend
so you can’t go you have to have the
you’re the adult you have to have the
bigger picture of the bigger vision and
understand that these ways this way
you’re stepping out of position is not
good all children all children no matter
what their age want their parents to be
in control want their parents to be good
safe in charge right you’re on a ship
cruise ship and you want you don’t want
to hear all the problems that the
captain’s having oh we have to detour
here because there’s an iceberg over
there or big huge rock over there we got
to go around it you don’t want to hear
all that you just want to hear we’re
gonna be there at this time you’re
trusting that they’re dealing with all
the problems you you want them to be in
charge while you’re being a kid while
you’re having fun and doing your thing
right okay your kid is the same way it
gives them the safe space if you stay in
place they don’t need you as a friend
they really don’t they they love the
opportunity to have lots of friends they
have friends one or two parents
to parents I guess technically but if
you’re the even if you’re a single
parent you have you if you have another
parent they still have made you they
need a mom they want a mom and a dad
they want the captain’s solidly in place
don’t talk about your problems with them
they’re not your friend that’s treating
them as if they’re a friend and not
letting them have the the freedom to do
their own thing without worrying about
your problems if they suspect you have a
problem you can be honest and say yes
we’re having a problem with that but
I’ve got it worried about this this is
not for you I’m taking care of it okay
that’s a way to let them know be honest
and let them know that you got it okay
if they’re doing something dangerous and
you don’t rescue them from that you’re
not that’s your primary goal it’s like
your only go about time the kid is in
their teens and early adulthood you step
in a legal issue or something that’s a
physical harm to themselves or somebody
else I just had this talk with a parent
they were all concerned because their
son has been doing drugs and they have
been watching for two years knowing that
the kid is still going to the school
they’re paying for knowing that kids
still driving the car that they’re
paying for no no no kids doing drugs you
take away the car and if they’re not
doing their schoolwork or certainly not
Earth this kids going to school high you
take that away all right
that’s your job they’re so afraid
they’re being mean or damaging and that
is all off the table you can rebuild
afterwards but you got to step in there
and get that kid safe and you don’t give
your responsibilities to your kid just
another way of abdicating your role
you’re making them the parent see this
all the time they have their kids cook
and clean and take care of the younger
ones if you have your kids babysitting
make it a job give them money for it so
doesn’t become you’re ditching your role
but better yet get other people pay
other professionals to do those jobs the
babysitting lawn care and that kind of
thing yes they have to have some
responsibilities but it’s very different
when you’re giving them responsibilities
to build their self-esteem and give them
tours and jobs and ways to get things
done but it’s different if you are lazy
or don’t want to do it and you’re just
ditching it over to them all right I’ll
be very careful about that all right
those are the way we build self-esteem
in kids do not fall for those maybe you
were raised that way or and you think
well okay so it can’t be that bad we’re
evolved we’re an evolving species you
want to begin evolve you want to learn
and taking don’t let that stop you from
realizing maybe you’re the exception
maybe some things didn’t go as well as
you remember but too much distance from
your child abdicating your place being a
good soldier or feathering the nest not
good ideas okay catch you next time
we’ll talk next week more about
parenting and I think that’s the last
week we have in January so catch you
then if any we can help you in any way
seven five seven three four zero 8800 be
glad to talk to anyone of you about any
problems you’re having in this regard or
anything else
take care