“I want to have a happy family,” is a goal you have right now. It’s one that sounds so beautiful. You imagine everyone liking each other, the kids laughing at your jokes, everyone’s dancing together in the kitchen, and quarrels and disagreements are nowhere to be found.
I hear this goal from my clients almost daily. They say it to me with such conviction, like anything less than this is a total failure and not having this goal is a preposterous, unthinkable thought that only bad mothers could have.
Yet, this very thought creates so much pain for many parents, and whether you know it or not, it’s creating pain for you, too.
Here’s why: each time someone feels a negative emotion in your family, you react because “happy families” don’t experience negative emotions. I know your brain is telling you that you are the exception to this, but it’s because you don’t yet see how this plays out on a daily basis.
It may play out like one child takes a toy from the other. You remove the toy from the child’s hands back to the original possessor, which causes all sorts of tears and tantrums. You react by yelling at that child that they have GOT to stop crying, it’s their fault they stole the toy in the first place.
Or, your teenager was grounded from his phone for bad grades. He’s been sulking for days. You snap at him that you are SO tired of his bad attitude and he can just stay in his room until he gets over it.
Time and again you react in ways contrary to how you really want to show up as a parent, and as a result, you are not happy. All of this stems from the thought of wanting a happy family without understanding that 100% happiness is an impossible goal.
The reason it is impossible is because every single person feels positive and negative emotions, a 50/50 split. It’s the way the universe was created. If you did not feel sorrow, you could not know joy. One cannot exist without the other; however, when we resist the negative, it builds in force. Imagine a beach ball being held under water. Eventually, the ball pops up with more tension. It is the same thing with negative emotions.
The more you resist or react to the negative (either in yourself or in others) by thinking something has gone wrong when it happens, the more negativity you create without even realizing it.
Please don’t mistake this as me telling you that should not discipline your kids. What I am suggesting is removing your expectation of 100% happiness to allow for your children to experience negative emotions will create a very different outcome within your home, but it all starts with changing the thought, “I want a happy family.”
Here are a few thoughts to practice instead, “My happy family includes a space for positive and negative emotions.” “My child is feeling a negative emotion right now, and that’s ok.” “It’s ok to be mad.” “I teach my kids how to feel a negative emotion.” “I define what a happy family means.”
These thoughts will allow you to open yourself to the possibility that a happy family can exist even when children feel negative emotions. It also allows you to see and feel your own negative emotions without blowing up on others.
And the best news is I’m here to coach you through your blow-ups and help you discover how to create the home and family environment you are striving to have. It all starts with you, and you deserve to have the help you need to make it possible. Click here to send me an email to set up a consult. Put “I’m interested,” in the subject line, and I’ll take it from there. It’s time to start this journey together.