If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World by Dan NeuharthDo you sometimes feel as if you are living your life to please others? Do you give other people the benefit of the doubt but second-guess yourself? Do you struggle with perfectionism, anxiety, lack of confidence, emotional emptiness, or eating disorders? In your intimate relationships, have you found it difficult to get close without losing your sense of self?
If so, you may be among the fifteen million adults in the United States who were raised with unhealthy parental control. In this groundbreaking bestseller by accomplished family therapist Dan Neuharth, Ph.D., youll discover whether your parents controlled eating, appearance, speech, decisions, feelings, social life, and other aspects of your childhood—and whether that control may underlie problems you still struggle with in adulthood. Packed with inspiring case studies and dozens of practical suggestions, this book shows you how to leave home emotionally so you can improve assertiveness, boundaries, and confidence, quiet you inner critics, and bring more balance to your moods and relationships. Offering compassion, not blame, Dr. Neuharth helps you make peace with your past and avoid overcontrolling your children and other loved ones.
Parenting Without Controlling Your Children
I was recently working with a woman, Debbi, who was concerned about a brewing medical problem she was having. When I inquired about a support network that she can call upon to assist her during this difficult time, she embarrassingly noted that she did not tell her mother about her problem; "I do not want my mother to worry" she said, "for as long as I can remember my mother would worry about every little problem I had. I just don't want to deal with it. This common dynamic that exists for many adult children and their parents, of the children chronically carrying the burden of their parents' worry, is damaging in two ways. First, it prevents adult children from receiving parental warmth and concern in times of need diminishing the openness in the child-parent relationship.
How to Let Go of Hyperparenting and Learn to Relax With Your Kids
Faith , Motherhood. I know the pit deep in your aching stomach after you boss your husband around or belittle him, because you are fearful he will do it wrong. Or the flood of guilt you feel after yelling at your kids because you just want them to do it your way. You want to control your family because you want them to be OK. You want them to be safe, to be healthy, to thrive. Sometimes it feels like in order to protect your family, you HAVE to be controlling. Sometimes the idea of letting go brings sheer terror.
Hyperparents are spotted when they are trying to educate their child from the womb, and expose them to the most intellectually stimulating music and art and literature before the kid can crawl. They obsess over everything, from whether the child is learning fast enough to how safe every single thing is to every little scrape and bruise. They are overprotective, overbearing, overwhelming to the child. I admit, I was a hyperparent once, and still can be sometimes. What I am suggesting is that these methods will help you relax, will help your child feel freer and less controlled and more able to explore and learn on her own, and could possibly result in a better relationship with your child and a happier child overall. When you get angry, pick them up and hug them.
Whether you can't stand the thought of your child making a mistake on his homework, or you fear your child won't make good decisions when you're looking over his shoulder, it can be hard to give your child freedom if you're a bit of a control freak. Parents who insist on having a high degree of control over their children often get them involved in many structured activities. From violin lessons to soccer practice, they believe their kids are gaining a competitive edge. But a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that enrolling kids in extracurricular activities did not make them happier, healthier, or more successful. So rushing from one activity to the next may be exhausting your child—and draining your bank account—for no real reason.