Parenting: Frustration is Steeped in Fear

We all enjoy a good laugh when we hear a comedian’s funny one-liners. But in reality, jokes are there for more than just immediate entertainment. They help you to see your own frustration or fear on a deeper level. It’s no coincidence that we find certain jokes funnier than others. We often laugh at jokes that relate to our life situations—mother-in-law troubles, tired young mother woes, jokes about the ongoing bills, and the list goes on. What makes you laugh? Pay attention to the jokes you resonate most with. What inner frustrations and fears are you tapping into?

Parents often get frustrated with their children’s behaviors. Maybe your children are acting poorly in a nice restaurant or running through the grocery store like wild animals. Or maybe your child is being unkind to another on the playground. In these situations, it’s only natural to get frustrated.

But if frustration is truly steeped in fear, what are you afraid of?

Are you afraid that your kids will eat with their fingers while on a date in 12 years, or that they will become bullies when they grow up? Or are you afraid that other parents will judge your parenting based upon your 6-year-old’s disastrous behavior? Instead of becoming frustrated with your children, look inside. What do these frustrations say about you? Dealing with your fears now ensures that the same fears are not passed along to our children.

What can you change in yourself? The answer is always found within. The only way to change reality is to change yourself. That’s the only thing you can control.

Many times, our fears are based on a deeper fear—the fear of the unknown. There are so many unknowns in life, and at times, navigating these waters can be scary. You don’t know how your kids will act (or react) when you’re not there. But you taught them to use good manners and to treat others with respect. So go back to your beliefs. Trust in yourself. Believe in yourself. When your belief changes, the fear will change as well.