Parenting Perspective: What to focus on and what to let go

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Most people say "Oh, I had good parents." Then I ask, "Oh, did you tell your parents about you getting bullied?" They laugh and say, "No, I can't tell them anything like that."


Because it wasn't the place for that.

But,  guys, isn't that sad?

This started my life-long journey to know what it means to be a parent that gives my children a childhood where they can be children. In this episode, I share what I observe in my life (and those around me) and in my practice. I know that parents rarely intentionally withhold safety and support, but their focus was MISPLACED. If you can hear this episode and make you RECONSIDER a few things about your parenting OR even your own childhood, I would consider it job-well-done. Now, let's dig deep to know what parents were SUPPOSED to focus on. 


Hi, everybody, my name is Dr. Kim, welcome to this like this podcast. And we're gonna continue on with our series on parenting. And as I reflect more on this, you know, it's really not about parenting at all. I mean, all of us who's listening to this podcast right now has been parented in some shape, or form. And I really wish that we can kind of reflect on how we were raised some of the feedback, I gave a similar talk to a group of daycare staff. And some of the feedback that I got from a mom was I need to go back home and apologize to my kids, or somebody who didn't have kids. They were like, I wish my mom knew about this when she was raising me. So I think it is very relevant and relatable topic. And I really hope that you get the best of it as I'm sharing, you know, what I'm learning. So in this episode, we're gonna discuss why well intended parents get it wrong about what their job is, as parents. So we might think that our job as parents is to bring up appropriately behaving human beings, right? Just don't curse don't hurt people, you know, function well at jobs or school. Do well, right. However, in my practice, and in my own life, I have heard and seen so many high functioning adults who has woes and memories from their childhood that really hurt them that their parents will never know because these high functioning adults will never share with their parents, you probably know yourself or someone else who have this past. Now, this scared me, especially when I had my own kids, because I did not want my kids to not be able to come to me with their woes, right or with their feedback. I wanted to develop this trusting relationship with my kids. So I started searching to redefine what I think roles of parents are. First I want to do a review. Shout out by Lionhead. 1959 Dr. Kim has an effective manner of communicating about mental health, using analogies that really makes sense. Her podcasts are encouraging, enlightening and hope filled. These messages are so valuable and need to be heard by more people. And Lionhead 1959 Thank you so much for your kind words. And you're no you're right. This is exactly the reason what got me to start the podcast is mental health is a hot topic right now. And it's used to be a taboo word for a very long time. And I think with the surge of interest, I think, thanks to social media as well, you know, a lot of people have their take on mental health, but I wanted to kind of clarify and make you really applicable and relatable and practical on how we understand mental health. So thank you so much for your comments. And if you found this podcast helpful, subscribing, and sharing and writing a review will definitely help me out a lot. And, and thank you so much. And it means so much to me that you're here. Just kind of sharing your time with me. So again, thank you so much. Now let's go back to parenting. Okay, why do well intended parents missed the point and spent a lot of time and energy and money on parenting and still missed the point, right? So these are the most common complaints that I hear from parents, I had a parent whose kids always says, I want to die right now. You know, My life sucks, like, I hate my life, like every day, and she's like, What do I do with that? You know, or I have kids who are hitting and kicking and throwing tantrums and pulling hairs out from the classmates whining all the time lying constantly eloping from school. sure these are very dangerous and aggressive behaviors, right? Or I have parents who complain that their kids are just unreasonable. And just always negative. You know, they say I hate you, You're not the boss of me. Or sometimes depressive comments, right? I'm so stupid deserve to die. I hear all range of these, quote unquote, inappropriate behaviors, attitudes and words. And a lot of times I asked the parents, what do you say to them? What do you do when they have when that happens? Right. And I, and reasonably I hear while we say, don't say that, don't do that. That's wrong. That's not good. Or you're not being helpful right now or fix your attitude. And these are very reasonable response, because it's very common. And these parents have legitimate reasons for saying these things, right. They don't want to enable these behaviors and attitudes. They don't want their kids to pick up bad habits. And they don't want your kids to think that this is okay to do or say. And parents also feel very uncomfortable seeing their children say or behave this way. And they definitely don't want the children to continue this way at school and their friends or god forbid, at their future workplace or marriage. Right. So you're kind of projecting a lot of the current behaviors to what if they continue this way? You know, I had a grandma who worried that, you know, the kid with ADHD was like, you know, not reading and getting a FISA school, and she legitimately worried that he's gonna be the next school shooter, you know, so we kind of project what's going on right now to the future. And we just hope that they're not going to carry the consequences, right. And some parents would even go further and say that these inappropriate behaviors and worse an attitude is an evidence that they're sinners. And that they need to know that this is a sinful behavior, and they need to stop it. Sure. I get all of this. I've been there. I have two kids, I am there. But what I realized is that if you just stop at judging and assessing the externalization in behaviors, words and attitude, it does not accomplish what the parents want to accomplish in parenting. It hurts kids souls, it burns bridges between parents and children. I know what you might be thinking, Whoa, whoa, Dr. Kim, all I want to do is discipline my kids so that they know from right and wrong, let me share with you what I see in my life and my work. When these parents come to me with these children's with inappropriate behaviors or hurtful behaviors, that is dangerous to others and also themselves. This is what I say, What is your goal, right? And I say, and they they tell me, I just want them to stop these things. Okay. And I say, it's actually pretty easy to quote unquote, fix your kids to behave well. You can train them like you train an elephant to do a circus act. You can use threats, punishment, spanking limiting praise, to shock your children to read your mind and expectations. And not do that. Make them submit with a rod. But what does this actually do and longterm. You start to create people pleasers, performers, or hysterical rebels with out of control emotions, and disrespect. This reminds me of the case of a 40 year old man, a grown man applying for a job he was applying to be as pharmacist and he just didn't look that excited. And when asked like why do you want this job, he just said, because my mom wants me to be a pharmacist. And that was it. And I mentioned this case at the whistleblower episode with therapist Jenny Lee, how sad his life is at 40 that he doesn't have a say in who he wants to be and what he likes, and what he wants to do, he doesn't know. And I know that when I say this to people, when I say this to parents, of course, parents don't want that, if they had an idea that what they're doing right now will lead them to be unable to know what they want and go after it. Of course, parents, I mean, most parents will not want that. This is why it is so important to have this perspective when you're parenting your children. Because you did not want to live with regret. You want to know where you're heading, what your job description is, and if you have accomplished those job descriptions, because at one point, they will not be children anymore. There will be adults. And you have to let them go if you don't, that's a whole nother issue for whole another day. But let me just tell you, if you focus on only what you hear and what you see, when you're raising your children, we're going to continue to raise 40 year old who's applying for jobs that they do not want. And maybe on the flip side, another 40 year old who are not responsible for their own behavior, who are hypersensitive to criticism, and who do not know how to figure out what they want, and the plan to go after it. Okay, so you're getting somewhere I know what you're trying to say then what is parents job, and this is kind of my take on it. Okay, parent's job is to create a safe and accepting place where children can learn to express their emotions, thoughts and behaviors. providing a safe and accepting place doesn't mean that you tolerate or permit hurtful and behavior and emotions. Creating a safe and accepting place just means that you accept and respect that they feel and think certain way. An example of not creating a safe and accepting place is a kid says I'm sad or I feel worthless. Parents saying why do you feel like that? Don't feel like that. That's not accepting where they're feeling. You can say okay, you feel like that and you can just accept that

it doesn't mean that you permit and tolerate Oh, you feel sorry for yourself. Okay, I guess that's just how it's gonna be for rest of your life. No, that's not what I mean by creating a safe and accepting place. But you need to respect that they feel that way and it's a legitimate feeling. Okay. parent's job is to teach children what their own intentions and goals are. What Children's want to accomplish and expect setbacks and mistakes along the way, and normalize troubleshooting and second chance, our children are going to grow up one day, and they're going to graduate. And even under our roof, they're going to face so much criticism and judgment from outside, right social media, you know, inappropriately, sexualized, you know, body image or perfect body, perfect grades, you're not getting into those college you want, you know, list of setbacks and disappointments our children are gonna face what actually makes or breaks them is not a perfect behavior record in their childhood is actually self confidence and resilience to accept the flaws and mistakes, and ability to try again. So if you're focusing on creating perfectly behaved kids, you're gonna miss the point of letting them make mistakes, and accept the mistakes and learn to recover from mistakes, parents job is to uphold the sense of worth and value in our children, but also make them understand that everyone around them have equal value and worth. So again, they need to respect themselves and know that they're very precious in just who they are. And I don't mean pampering our children's ego, like they're the most important thing in the world. But I'm also saying that is important to teach our kids that they don't need to be a doormat to anyone else, that if they get hurt, then they can say, Hey, I got hurt. And you don't treat me like that. This teaches them boundaries for themselves, and also respecting other people's boundaries. And this is parent's job. I've heard a few cases of when a child gets bullied or mistreated by another peer or adult. And when I asked a kid, you know, what, how do you feel? And they say, Well, I feel bad, but I know that I need to forgive them. That is a very unnatural answer. And I know that it was a script that parents told them. So this kid gets mistreated, consult his or her parents about it, and parents respond is oh, well, we need to understand them or forgive them something along the lines forfeited, protecting that kid's worth and what they deserve. This sets the tone for that kids self worth. If they get mistreated again, then they're gonna think, well, I need to be a bigger person and forgive, that's going to allow further bullying and further abuse, because that kid does not know what he or she deserves, and where the boundary is and where it was that crossed. And lastly, I think parents job is to respect Child's Own developing beliefs, desires and styles, but also teach them to respect yours, and others, your children were not created on this earth to continue to live that you wanted to live out, they're gonna become an adult, one day, marry and have their own kids, or maybe not right, they're definitely gonna do things very differently from you, and learning to let go of this expectation and what you think their roles are in your life, you'll be so much better as they get older and enter high school, college, what have you. And again, that 40 year old pharmacist who's keeps on applying for pharmacist job, not knowing what he wants or not having the ability to go after it right. His parents probably voluntold him to be a pharmacist because they thought that the pharmacists was a really good job. And I was talking to my friend the other day, you know, she has stepkids and I was kind of sharing what I was learning from reflecting on parenting, you know, well intended love goes array, when they mistake love with control. You're not supposed to control your kids and their outcomes. You're supposed to respect your kids and respect the outcomes that they choose. And when this gets messed up, when you mistake controlling their outcomes for love, this could be considered a form of abuse and neglect. So in summary is like this, I'm going to save you a lot of time, money and effort and sleepless nights. So you're trying to figure out or sleepless nights have regrets of what went wrong. Our kids don't need us to send them to the best colleges, all of this checklist stuff, methods and all that stuff. They don't need that. What they need is a home. They need a home to let their hair down, walk around in their underwear share what they're feeling and thinking without fear of judgment or getting assessed if it's legitimate enough or reasonable enough. We just want our parents to know that we're not crazy, that we're not unreasonable that we are trying our best. I mean, don't we want that from other people in our lives? And How precious is it that our children just want that from us? They want a home. I share these values and roles of a parent very tenderly because I know that a lot of us did not have a good role model of maybe the understanding of what parents are supposed to do, and is very difficult to create something out of nothing, especially when it comes to healthy relationships that we never had, I want you to know that as an adult, you can create that home for yourself. And I heard this somewhere I forgot the source. But how the kids pay you back is for them to parent well, your grandchildren. So that's how you get paid back. And really the source of wisdom that I'm getting from, you know, as I'm parenting and learning to parent, my children, is really from the moment that God met me where I was when I was 17. And what I am continuously realizing is that God as a father was not thing as I experienced in human relationships and that I had to kind of unlearn a lot of things about what human relationships are like, and we will mess up, we're going to make mistakes, but we're not going to stay that way. We're always going to get better. So I hope that this encouraged you. I hope that this podcast episode brought a little bit of healing in your heart, and hope to try again because your child needs you and just you more than what you can offer our gift to them. So in the next episode, we're going to be breaking down, you know what happened after that incident, then my older child hit the younger one. And I yelled, and I'm going to give you the conversation that I have with the older one after all of this to kind of give you an example of what it looks like to fulfill the roles of a parent that I described to you today. I hope you guys have a great day and thank you for coming in and tuning in I'll see you in the next episode.