When Family InterferesDec 27, 2023
When Family Interferes - Lots of things trip up parents over the holidays - relaxed rules, missed bedtimes, too much sugar, quadrupled screentime…but one of the worst can be pressure and interference from relatives and strangers. It's maddening and makes it damn near impossible to parent effectively.
When Family Interferes
When I first had kids, everyone had an opinion, and family gatherings left me feeling criticized, defensive, and furious. Plus, my kids' schedules and behavior were destroyed afterward. I gave ultimatums and lectured everyone, but I knew they were still rolling their eyes and waiting for a chance to do things' their way.' It was torture.
This is a You Thing!
I finally changed my thinking in these situations and transformed our family dynamics. And now, when my clients struggle with criticism or interference, I tell them the same thing I told myself:
This is a YOU thing! That judgment and criticism must first be present in yourself before it stings from others. It's when we're already telling ourselves we're no good that someone else's behavior becomes a megaphone for that inner voice. No matter how we parent, an army of detractors will always think it's dumb or wrong. Our insecurities, not those detractors, make us compromise our values or tie ourselves in knots over what they think.
This doesn't have to be adversarial, and it doesn't have to feel like crap. You're the parent for crying out loud! You have all the power, and no one can take away your agency and impact on your child. When we realize this, anger and anxiety fall away. The key is not learning to handle other people - it's learning to handle the insecurities that leave us feeling criticized, defensive, and no good at this parenting thing.
4 Steps to Handling Meddlers
I help my clients go through 4 steps to handling meddlers, and they get great results: kids who stay on track over visits, improved family relationships, clear and respected boundaries, and enjoyable times even with relatives who won't change a bit. All this is possible because they also become rock solid on the fact that they are kickass parents before they ever get in spitting range of a judgy hater.
So, my advice in dealing with meddling relatives this year is to forget about setting boundaries, giving ultimatums, or having family meetings. Focus on yourself. Who are you as a parent? What are your rules, and what beliefs are behind those rules? WHY does it bother you when someone oversteps or comments on your parenting? I promise it goes beyond their impact on your kid or that it's just not right to interfere. That meddling MEANS something to you, about you, and that's where the real potential for change lies.
Getting to the Root
If you're ready to get to the root of these things, I can help! I'm talking to parents ready to change their families' behavior, energy, and happiness. The time you spend in our Discovery Call sharing your experiences and creating a plan for change could be the turning point for your Family. And it all starts with a simple click to book.
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