Ten Ways to Tell If Your Ego Is Hurting Your Parenting

1.  Who's in charge here? Do you see yourself as being in charge of your children? Are you in the habit of telling your children what to do and how to do it? Do you issue commands on a regular basis? If that's the case, your ego is dominating your relationship with your children.

2.  Are you invested in finding out who's wrong and who's right? Are you more focused on fixing blame and applying the right punishment to the one at fault than in searching for solutions? Then look to your ego; there you will find the real problem.

3.  Do you take the stance, "I know what is best for you"? Do you keep your children from expressing themselves in their own way or experiencing life because you know the better way? Watch out. Your ego is on the loose.

4.  Is your agenda more important than your children's agenda? Do you set the schedule for the day (or week) and expect your children to blindly follow it without question? Is the schedule set up for your convenience or for theirs? If your schedule is more important than theirs, your ego may be getting in the way of effective parenting.

5.  Are you taking things personally? Do defensiveness and aggression arise if your children do not do as expected? Do your emotions quickly break through the thin membrane that is holding them back? That is your ego at work defending its personal version of truth.

6.  Do you find yourself telling your kids to stop a behavior before exploring what they are trying to learn through that behavior? Does your need to control trump their desire to explore and learn from their own mistakes? If so, your ego is showing its face.

7.  Are you carrying a grievance about something your child did in the past? Are you finding it difficult to forgive or let it go? Is it more fun to go on complaining about or resenting your child than being done with it? Beware, the ego is present.

8.  Do you talk down to your child with baby talk or condescending language? Do you play the game of "big me/little you"? When that happens, you are also playing the game of "my ego is more important than your ego."

9.  Do you expect your children to eat what you fixed for dinner without involving them in the process of choosing and preparing the meal? Do you decide on the vacation site and schedule with no input from them? If so, it is time to check your ego.

10.  Have you made the present moment your enemy when you are with your children? Do you wish you were someplace else or doing something different when you are with them? Do you multitask, doing three or more things when you are participating with them? If so, your ego has surfaced again.

Putting your ego front and center in your parenting doesn't work. Not if you want self-responsible, caring, conscious children. Begin today to remove your ego from the role of parenting by placing your higher self back in its rightful role.

Happy parenting.


Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are are co-authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. Visit their blog at: www.uncommon-parenting.com.

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