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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Parental Personality Disorders

Do your kids have emotional swings, moods, and personality shifts?  And when they do… do you?

As a parent, I find it difficult, at times, not to “respond in like manner”.  If they’re nasty or disrespectful, why do they still expect me to be… the adult?  lol.

Rather than lapse into the same-old, same-old, Jekyll and Hyde scenarios, I’ve found that it helps to be purposeful.  Know where you’re headed before trouble happens.  Get a road map and stick to it.  Be businesslike, rather than relapse into the screaming shrew.

I can be dramatic with the best of them, but it doesn’t come naturally.  We were brought up as civilized children who were “seen and not heard”.  It was that era, where kids when out to restaurants and ate quietly and politely.  We had to control ourselves and if we didn’t, well, our parents were more than happy to help us out-!  So the idea of a child shouting at me, or acting mouthy, or whatever, is a little hard to swallow.  Thankfully, it’s not often around here.

But I am not going to descend into the pit, as well.  I realize that being around mentally ill people can make me a little nuts, too.  Here are some of the top parental personality disorders I’ve noticed wooing me or others, from time to time.  I’m not going there, and neither should you.

1.  Jekyll and Hyde:  they’re nasty, you’re nasty, followed by periods of normalcy and sweetness.  As the parent, we need to be the strong rocks that are stable and model stable, in-control behavior.  I find nothing wrong with the occasional rant, though, that enough is enough.  Emphasis on occasional.

2.  The Screaming Shrew:  when someone is screaming, it’s very hard to “hear” them.  When a child is screaming or on a tangent of any sort, I’ve found it helpful to actually lower my own voice in terms of volume.  Works every time.  When E.F. Hutton speaks….

3.  The Paranoid Parent:  again, this type of mentality can be “caught” from those around you.  The child is paranoid that you’re out to get him, that you’re constantly targeting him, and now you become paranoid that the child is out to ruin your life.  It’s nothing personal.  Apparently many children make this their life’s passion these days.  Oy.

4.  Bipolar:  similar to Jekyll and Hyde, may result in a flurry of activity one way or another.  Could be overly disciplinary, and then overly loving, showering with gifts or time together, in order to make up and “make everything better”.  Work on getting the pendulum of emotions not swinging up and down so high and so low.

5.  Flatlining:  no emotion at all.  You’ve become an automaton, going through the motions, just trying to survive by not becoming involved, truly involved with the child.  That’s smart in a certain way to protect yourself, but it could help to view the child as a complete stranger, one in need of compassion and a guiding word.  Often, we’re more polite to those we don’t know, than those who are near and not-so-dear.

Repeat after me:  “I am a whole, normal parent.  I give love and acceptance.  I radiate strength.  I am raising mentally stable and well-behaved children.  I can do this.”

Have a great week!



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