At some point, your child will drive you crazy. All the time! In fact, you will have days where you wonder if your child is even yours because you are so different. You will wonder what you have done to deserve the insanity of parenthood and question your every motive to have children altogether. Every parent feels this way at some point or another. And most parents feel this way at some point during each and every day. Some things just don't make sense. Like why do you have to fight about getting your child to take a bath each night, when they know they have to do it? Or why does your tween daughter get mad when you won't let her wear her ripped up jeans to school. And why can't they understand that if they don't do well in school, they can't play baseball or visit with friends. Even toddlers can be maddening.
One of the reasons that children drive parents so crazy is because they are complete time and energy vacuums. Parents today strive so hard to please and tend to their children, that there is very little, if any, time left to recharge themselves. Having 30 minutes after your kids are in bed to do laundry and talk to your spouse, just isn't enough to be considered a break. On the flip side, you are protective and then begin feeling guilty about being so overwhelmed with irritation because your children will not stop talking, or banging on the floor with their hot wheels. You aren't alone, and one of the things that sets parents apart from children is that while they are human, they can do super human things – such as learn to tune out from life when it gets too much.
It is a misconception that adults are meant to spend every waking second with their child. If you are one of the parents who do this, then you are setting yourself up to be sent to the loony bin. Plus, your children really don't want you around all the time either. They get tired of parents constantly correcting them, showing them how to properly hold a crayon, and reminding them to eat nachos with a fork. As retaliation for their annoyance with you, they become fussy and ill willed. In other words, they do things like sing constantly, draw on the walls, ask a million questions, sulk, throw fits, stomp up and down, back talk, sleep all day, make messes and act indignant just to get YOU away from THEM. Sadly, this never works. As soon as parents see this behavior, they are not only working on their last nerve – but they also feel compelled to interact, intervene and intercept any negative thing their child might or must be feeling. And so the circle continues.
Sure, you are a parent. But you are also a person. You have interests that no 2 or 12 year old can possibly fulfill (at least we hope not). The umbilical cord was cut the day they were born and ever since then – they have been growing further and further away from you. Not only do your children want you to find things to do that have nothing to do with them – you have to seek out outside passions and desires of the adult type, in order to endure the madness that is being a parent. This break, no matter how short lived, will give you that happy place in your mind where you can go each time your children are on the verge of breaking the camel's back.
Parents and children really do go together. However, they go together better, when both parties learn to separate at times. This doesn't mean that you love your child less, or that your child loves you less. What it does mean is that both parent and child trust one another, respect one another, and feel confident in their familial roles. It also means that you are a good parent, who puts yourself first because you realize that if you aren't rejuvenated, refreshed and de-stressed – you can never be the kind of parent you really want to. Still, your children will drive you crazy. As much as we want them to be an extension of ourselves, it turns out most often that they aren't. And for many reasons this is a good thing!
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