Happy Surroundings Make Happy Children
Many mothers have sought advice because they are unsure of themselves or their ability to be good parents, and often not enjoying their interaction with their children.
Yet it is so important that children are exposed to calm, happy parents who are confident in their abilities and who are loving and joyful. One of my goals as a pediatrician is to help women to become strong in their relationships, alleviate the guilt and fear that is so limiting, and gain the peace that will lead to a life of fulfillment for them and their children.
By far, the best advice that I can give to mothers is this: Surround yourself with people who love and support you.
If some of your so-called friends or loved ones are causing you distress, it is probably time to change, or get out of, the relationship. You can try to confront the person in a straightforward, non-threatening way, documenting offensive behavior. For instance, somebody who is constantly undermining your ideas, interfering with your desires, and generally acting in a negative way, is draining you of the energy that you need to be a thoughtful, independent person. Moreover, your children will be exposed to this kind of relationship and consider it the norm.
Make a decision to surround yourself with the people, who care about you and support you. Avoid those who nag or complain or constantly involve you in their problems.
Here are some examples of potentially toxic friends and loved ones:
- Does this person depend on you to arrange a social life, supply friends, and make plans? Do you, in turn never meet anyone new through this person, or become exposed to new experiences as a result of this person's input?
- Does this person only talk to you when there some bad news, call you to share every misfortune, and expect you to play the therapist every time you meet? Does it make you feel tired just to be around this person?
- Does this person become your therapist, taking on the role of "professor without portfolio", scaring you into thinking that your goals or instincts are not valid or feasible?
Toxic people who put you down to lift their own spirits suck the life out of you. Those who nag, complain or involve you in their problems should be avoided. Even worse, you can become a negative person yourself.
Spending time with positive people who allow you feel good about yourself and inspire you will, in turn, give you the strength and courage to get control over your life, and transmit this power to your children.