When my daughter started behaving in ways I didn’t think she should I was flummoxed. I thought inside “I’m treating her well and meeting all her needs on-demand so what am I doing wrong?” She was acting defiant and expressing a lot of rage and this wasn’t part of my parenting plan which I was sure was going to work.
I had studied, I’d done personal work and I waited until 44 to be a mom. I was determined I was not going to be my mom and yet everything was backfiring and I didn’t know where to turn.
In my frustration and feeling powerless my emotions were extremely volatile. Rage, just like my moms, came up and I found myself screaming like a crazy woman and running to the bathroom over and over determined not to act out on my daughter. I felt held hostage by my four-year-old.
She was in charge because I had given her the power. I wasn’t sure how to take it back in a healthy way. The template I’d grown up with was a “power over” model and I was sure I didn’t want to do that. What I did instead was take the other side and gave in which led her to power over me. Of course, she took the driver’s seat because I kept handing it to her.
What this looked like was me asking her questions that were WAY too big for her to be making as a four-year-old like, “where do you want to eat?” instead of “tonight, we are eating at ……”
I was confused because I didn’t want her to feel angry with me…and yet let me tell you I was really angry with her for taking over and always saying NO to whatever I wanted. ! I’d lost my empowerment to steer the boat.
Only when my rage entered the field was I willing to step out of the position of the victim. I was determined to empower myself instead of powering over my daughter like my mom did me. As crazy as it sounds I am forever grateful for my daughter expressing her rage so I could meet mine.
Once I saw that I’d made her the location of my rage I turned back inside and met my rage with loving-kindness. It was a young rage of having to give myself up to please my alcoholic mom. It was a young rage having to do whatever my dad wanted instead of being supported to follow my dreams. There was a LOT of RAGE stored inside and until I was willing to look at it my daughter took it over.
Slowly, as I turned towards the rage instead of avoiding it something quite miraculous opened. Under the rage I met my desires that I’d subordinated to fit into my family. I found my wisdom….my insight…and my courage to show up the way I wanted.
Finally, I sat down in my being and therefore empowered myself as a parent offering my child a healthy mature mama!