When you were growing up, did you grow up in an environment where your parents kept telling you how to behave and what to do, no matter how you feel?
Recently, I watched a South Korean show where the camera followed the lives of one Family. They showed the parents’ interactions with their kids and their kids’ reactions. Afterwards, a child psychiatrist offered feedback for the parents on how to build better relationships with them.
If you’re interested to watch it, here’s the link
This family has a mom, a dad, and 6 kids (3 boys, 3 girls. The parents were having a “difficult time” with the middle son.
The parents complained about how their son was behaving disrespectfully, not doing enough house work, swearing at them/to his siblings, or not following the house rules, etc.
But the camera showed a very different story.
The parents were constantly angry with him. No matter how much the son did, the parents would keep criticizing him, nitpicking at him.
When he felt really stressed out and wanted to go outside for some fresh air (since there was no room for him to have alone time), his mom prevented him from going (it was 7pm).
When the parents decided they need to have a “talk with him” to find out what’s going on, they kept asking “What’s wrong with you? Speak up!” And when he didn’t respond, they pushed him further, asking “Why aren’t you speaking? Look me in the eyes.”
Just from watching that video, I felt the suffocation and tightness in my chest, the anger of unfairness, the stifled voice that was dismissed. UNLESS the words were exactly what the parents wanted to hear, otherwise, it meant nothing.
And on the other end, I also saw how much the parents were struggling. I could only imagine the amount of pressure they were facing in order to raise a family that ‘meets societal expectations’.
I am so happy at the end, the child psychiatrist was able to work with the family, so they could have a happy relationship.
But this is the toxic cycle.
The parents' voices were stifled, they were expected to behave a certain way, even when they didn't want to.
So they forced their kids to act a certain way, by any means, get angry at them, kick them out of the house, nag at them, nitpick at them, force them to do things, etc.
Then the kids end up being rebellious and explode at the parents/other people, or they may go into depression. (and when they have a family of their own, they may end up yelling and criticizing their own kids)
The bad news is, if we don't stop it, the toxic cycle continues.
Sometimes, this could lead some families to have extremely poor parent/child relationship. For some, they may consider ending their lives because they couldn't handle the stress.
The good news is, something can be done about it.
We can heal our pains and learn new skills to break this cycle.
Imagine you can have a better relationship with your kids. Where they actually want to come to you to talk through their problems, they feel safe enough to share, and you have the skills to navigate through both your own emotions and help them navigate through theirs.
Or when your spouse, parents, or in-laws keep pushing you for more, or saying awful things to you, you can finally say, “This is inappropriate, you’re not allowed to speak to me this way anymore.”
If you feel it's time for you to take the next step to break this toxic cycle, I can help with that.
I invite you to hop on a free 20-min consult with me. During this time, I’ll get to know you some more and we can see if we’re a good fit to work with each other.
I know sometimes we may feel really alone….am I the only one going through this?
And I know it can feel very scary to do this on our own.
I can assure you that you are not alone, and you don’t have to work through this by yourself. You can have someone walk through this journey with you.
Let’s do this together.