Many of you know that I have a 20-year-old son named Benjamin. He and I have been through a lot together over the last 20 years including navigating a significant developmental delay and a 4-year hurricane divorce journey.
This history plays on my present with him in how I show up as his mom. Recently I realized that I have used the excuse of him being a bit “neurodivergent” or “affected by being estranged from his dad” to be a Weenie parent. A parent who is afraid to do the tough job of parenting and sometimes be “the heavy”.
Are you a Weenie parent?
Do you overlook rude behaviour because your child is enduring his/her parent’s divorce? I just want to suggest that what seems like an act of kindness or being a good parent may be in fact the exact opposite. Divorce can bring on some big feelings for your child – totally fine – but abusive behaviour needs a hard stop.
My son has a habit of berating me, and I have tolerated this rudeness for the last 6 years figuring it was because he has “emotional regulation issues” caused by the divorce or his unique brain. Guess what? I was mistaken. He was berating me because he thinks he can do it better.
My solution to this rude behaviour is to stop facilitating it, starting immediately, and let him do it himself. Helping someone when they are rude is not the way the world works. Why was I letting my household work this way? If he is berating me – he thinks he can do it better. Step aside Weenie parent, and let him!
Effective parenting through divorce
It is easy to plan to be an effective parent, but the execution is an issue if you don’t have the skill of aligning your thoughts with your actions. This is where coaching comes in. for example, if you decide to stop helping your child who is being rude, yet internally think that a good parent would be helping, your “effective parenting” will be received with ire. I know, because this was me before I cleaned up my thinking with the help of a skilled coach.
This is exactly the work we do during our Daily Lifeline zoom calls within the Lifeline Sorority. Together we are all becoming better parents through a divorce with the goal of creating unfailingly polite, self-sufficient children. Do you need to hone these skills? Book a free strategy call with me to see how to become part of my sorority. It is the NFL of divorce.
The perils of Weenie parenting
The stakes are high if our kids don’t become self-sufficient adults. There is nothing scarier than thinking that your kids can not function without you. Because one day they will need to. Chances are they are going to outlive you and just think how much comfort you will feel in your old age if you know your children are able to thrive in the world without your assistance.