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Unhelpful Statements About Parenting!
Episode 11517th August 2023 • How Not to Screw Up Your Kids • Dr Maryhan
00:00:00 00:27:40

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Everyone's got an opinion about parenting. The most irritating ones are the naive comments made by people who aren't parents themselves! At the least they are an irritant at their worst they are damaging to our wellbeing. Join me as I rant a little - then offer you some (hopefully) wise words to navigate more peacefully through them.

Here are the highlights: 

(2:00) Parenting is one of the hardest things we’ll do

(3:40) Naïve conversations about parenting

(5:30) Gender stereotypes are harmful

(9:43) We have more than 18 summers with our children!

(15:14) Stay connected to what you know is true

(17:55) Give yourself permission to feel emotions

(22:07) Connect with your tribe

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Transcripts

00:11

s. In the year:

10:11

days out of:

19:57

if we don't have this contrived. Left narrative that, you know, people want to keep feeding us, that is just a total lie about what parenting should look like, particularly in extended periods of time when we're home. And we just don't have that, that guilt and shame can come from the fact that our life doesn't necessarily look like what we perceive it should do. But it can also be because of what we perceive. We're sacrificing this wonderful life by doing something else. And that doing something else might not be something that we're happy with. But equally, it could be that we feel that guilt and that shame, because we're doing something we love. And we think that maybe we should or shouldn't, or we feel guilt and shame that we enjoy that more than being the stay at home parent that we think we ought to have. The very first thing is when you see these things happen, and you get triggered by them, as I have done monumentally this week, it's just giving yourself permission to feel, you know, why did why did I feel so enraged when I saw these things? I think for me, in lots of ways, I'm kind of, it's a slightly different scenario for me, because my children are older that sort of come out at that other side. But it doesn't mean I don't stop maybe feeling guilty or feeling ashamed or feeling that I'm not judging myself based on things that I could have, could have and should have done. But I think more so what particularly enraged me about this is that I guess it's feeling that all of the effort that I put in, and so many other people in my in the same space, who are trying to advocate for real and honest parenting, and then when you hear and you see these things, you think, Oh, my goodness, me, we still have so much to do so much more work that needs to be done. If people are genuinely, still comfort coming from this space of, you know, 18 summers good doesn't mean you're gonna get more than 18 summers with your adult child. So why are we focusing in on these, these very specific things. Whereas actually, our relationship with our children goes well beyond them being dependent on us, we will continue to have our relationship with our children for a very long time yet to come. So it is give yourself permission to feel number one, stay connected to what you know, is true. And the third one, so I've only got three tips this week. But the third one is connect with your tribe. And if you do not have one, please go get one. Yeah, so these do not have to be other parents, they absolutely do not need to be other parents. But these are people who you can truly be yourself with. These are people that you can truly share. And be honest about your feelings with and have honest conversations, we talk a lot about this notion of being vulnerable and our vulnerability and showing that vulnerable side to us, which is phenomenal, and is really important. And it's something that we should be doing. But we also need to be discerning with who we are truly vulnerable with, you know, we're handing over something that's really quite precious, something that's quite that can be quite fragile. And you wouldn't want to just give that to anybody. And it's okay to have friends who you are not vulnerable with, you know, we all have friends for different reasons. And, and sometimes we have friends for certain seasons. And that's okay, not every single person that you have as a friend, or even a good friend will be someone that you will share everything with. Now, if your tribe happens to be a whole bunch of other parents, maybe you did some antenatal courses when you were expecting or maybe you're part of your community who've adopted or have children through surrogacy, whatever that might be, it may well be that your tribe relates specifically to your role that is parent. But our tribe can be also across our eclectic mix of multiple roles that we have. And that that the group that you share that vulnerability with may well also change with time, but it's so crucial to find your tribe. Because the more we try and parent singularly and I mean singularly not as a single parent, but singularly as in within just our immediate family unit of ourselves, our partner, that I think the more the less rich our children's lives are. Because the whole purpose of having a tribe is not just because of the support that you get that emotional support and that ability to be open and vulnerable. But what that tribe also gives you is a diverse way of thinking, because their life experiences will then inform on the conversations that you have and some of the decisions that you will end up making, which then impacts your children. There's a sharing of resources that happen, whether that's resources around recipes, whether that's resources around physical equipment for looking after children, whether it's resources around childcare, whatever it might be, the tribe and the community with which we raise our children is so much more than the person or the group of people that we'd just have conversations about parenting with is both whole collection. And that's why I'm such a huge advocate. That's why I talk about it so often. And I'll be honest, I was not great at finding my tribe at all. 100% When my children were babies, my tribe would have been my family. So my husband, myself, but also his parents, and my mum. So it was I had a tribe. And in lots of ways, as I suppose you'd expect, I was very honest with my mom about how things were, and that has its purpose. But actually, when my children were babies, I could have done with a bigger tribe. And I did get that 100% did get that might, you know, my tribe definitely got bigger and for different reasons, and for different purposes, and also for different seasons as my children then started going into school, but I know that my journey as a parent, and the ups and the downs would have been so much more to so much easier, and so much more joyful. Had I been sharing that with a community and advice I had, it wasn't even necessary about finding my tribe if I had actually made an effort to engage to seek out my tribe. So that would be my third one is that really connect with your tribe? If you and if you don't have one, go get one. I hope this podcast has been useful this particular episode, because there's been a lot of ranting and raving about this. I just think it's such a crucial thing that we are, that we have these honest conversations about parenting and that we pull people up when they say things, probably from well meaning statements and well meaning views, but that they actually don't help. And particularly for me, it's they sort of came at a time that I know, I just know, so many parents will be struggling will be finding it difficult, because that's the real life of parenting. So I do hope that that was sort of a helpful episode. My give this week is going to be those three top tips which you can get from my free resource library, you just head over to www.drmaryhan.com forward slash library where you'll find the link to download the resource. All you need to do is pop in your email address and you'll get instant access not only to this week's resource, but all the other free resources across all my podcast episodes. As ever, if you have enjoyed this episode, I would be so grateful I would love it if you could follow and review this podcast so that others can find us and we can spread the love. So until next time,

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