musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours

Unconditional love vs acting like a big gorilla…


In light of my post the other day – Do I sound like that? Really? – I have to say I did good this morning. One of my daughters has been pushing my buttons as of late. I know, she knows she is doing it too, which of course pushes my buttons…. sigh. What the reasoning behind it is, I have no idea. Why she would want to push me at every turn is beyond me. You know the old adage “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” well she is testing out the vinegar. (why do we want to catch flies? I certainly know that I don’t – flies are gross and annoying…) What was my point here? OK let’s get back on track. She wants to have her cake and eat it too. (OK there’s another one… hhmmmm maybe I will have to do a post pondering some of these old expressions??? another day another time.) Anyways, so my kid wants all the privileges without any of the responsibility… sound familiar? She is lacking respect for me and my boundaries but gets all in my face when I say “heck no!” and normally I do that loudly and aggressively. Not this morning…

Acting like a big gorilla!

Acting like a big gorilla!

This morning I stopped myself, took some deep breathes, realized I did not want to start my day like that. I did not want to have a little black cloud floating above my head all day. I did not want to act like a big gorilla, all action and reaction, no thought and rationale. I want to give my kids unconditional love even in the face of lots of button pushing. It felt really good to keep it together and even though I need to have a talk with her today after work, I am feeling optimistic because I have decided I am not going to yell. I am going act with love, even if it kills me! (or her for that matter… which it just might!)

So recently I have come to realize some fairly obvious truths; truths that have somehow eluded me in the past. For instance respect is a two way street, you get what you put in. (I have always known this in respect to relationships, but somehow it’s easy not to apply it when dealing with kids/teenagers and to just expect them to respect you “because you said so!”) I have also found that anger and yelling only seem to breed more anger and yelling. And that when you hit the wall of frustration neither party is listening any more, but are rather trying to find relevant ammo. (sometimes irrelevant ammo, because when one is truly angry any ammo will do).

Love NEVER fails...

Love NEVER fails…

See I want my kids to be sure in knowing that they can come to me no matter what they are facing, and that I will treat the situation with as much love, and kindness as I can. Which means if I am flying off the handle every time they do something I don’t like, I am not fostering that ideal. My button pushing daughter is 15 years old, and even though I do not want her partying, drinking, experimenting with drugs or having sex (of course I don’t want that) I do want her to know that if she has done any of these things and screwed up big time and has found herself in trouble, she can come to me and I will not rip into her for making poor choices or for making mistakes. Which means if I am always losing it over the small stuff, there is no way she is going to come to me with the big stuff.

And that boils down to me having to change my patterns. Because it would break my heart if I found out that she was too afraid to come to me in a crisis. To me that would mean I had failed as her parent. My job is to guide her in the right direction and to be there to love and support her when she chooses to take a different route. To applaud her when those choices work out, and to hug her and just be there when they don’t.

Author: My Spoken Heart - Andrea Crowell

Blogger, life lover, silly-hearted daydreamer...

25 thoughts on “Unconditional love vs acting like a big gorilla…

  1. Pingback: Saying Good-Bye to 2013… | myspokenheart

  2. You are absolutely right! My oldest son is 28 and will come to me and talk about everything and anything. Because I always sat down and gave him my time. At times I cringe about his choice in conversation, (sex) *Ack* Lol But nonetheless I listen and give advice if he asks. My youngest son, (21) tells me very little as we fought about anything and everything. I never yelled but still we clashed. He was very spoilt and that was my fault. You will have a great relationship with your daughter this way. Hugs Paula xx


    • Thanks Paula… don’t blame yourself, remember also that each child is very different and unique. The issues I have with one are completely different to the issues with another. Also the ‘fight’ triggers with one is different than with another (both what will set you off and what will set them off). So all we can do is our best and hope it’s good enough. πŸ™‚ hugs back to you xx (I always like hugs)


  3. Sometimes parenting is really, really difficult. This is one of those moments.


    • Yes parenting is difficult… and there are no guaranteed fail safes… every child is different and just because something worked with one kid doesn’t mean it will with another… but we get by… and we do our best (hopefully)… and then we marvel at how amazing they are when they do something that makes us proud… πŸ™‚


  4. Reblogged this on Scott Williams and commented:
    great thoughts on parenting and emotional wholeness..


  5. Good read…
    And been there…19 and 21 year old sons.
    I realized LONG ago, sitting down and talking is a hard thing to do.
    But in the long run, it will benefit everyone. It is IMPOSSIBLE sometimes not to be a big angry gorilla, as you know. Sometimes the discapline has to be dealt out..

    Keep at it, it worked for me and my 2 lads..They are both a real credit to themselves…
    …And we get along now. They both are always “Do you need medication, do you need anything from the shop, can I have Β£100” you know, the usual stuff πŸ™‚

    Hand in there…I have your back.. lol



  6. Hey Hearty. A very true post. Screaming back at the kids is like dousing flames with petrol.
    It’s hard though. I think that when kids ‘act out’ it’s actually a message that they trust our love enough to ‘kick it’ once in a while. I never talked back at my parents, but through fear not respect. A bit of feisty is healthy.
    We parents are the foil for all ills. When my daughter is screaming at me she is also screaming at all the frustrations of being hormonal, school fears, friend troubles, emotional ‘flux’ and the taut indecipherability of life as a teenager.
    While I’d love a second go at life, I’d hate to be a teen again, especially now with all the empty aspirations forced at them in the media, yet the paucity of meaningful opportunities in the world. Hard times.
    At the end – all will be well if they know they are loved – it’s really all any of us have.


    • Hey Ros… uummm yea I have experienced the petrol on flames thing it certainly makes for an intense moment, and does nothing to quench the flame… sadly the last few days have been a challenge and it is looking like 2 points for the big gorilla – 0 for good intentions and displays of unconditional love… but I will keep trying… and keep trying… and keep trying…

      My daughter is screaming at things she doesn’t even understand (and I sure as hell don’t get how any of it is my fault) – and it feels like I am the whipping post… I know that what I feel and what is real are not always the same thing but…

      I would not relive my teens for anything… those were hard years… lots of mistakes… lots of angst… lots of loneliness, confusion and heartache… and today with technology – things people would never say to one another in person flying back and forth – I can’t even imagine….

      Love it’s the be all and end all… and sometimes it is so hard to just let it flow…

      I shared this on FB the other day – it sums it up pretty well I think:

      Unconditional love…
      “It’s natural to be compassionate and nonjudgmental when everyone else is playing by the same rules. When others appreciate, understand, and tolerate us, it provides us with an incentive for appreciating, understanding, and tolerating them. Unconditional love, however, isn’t demonstrated until it’s shown to those who neither return it nor appreciate it. We never know how much we love someone until they give us a reason not to.” – T.K. Coleman, Tough-Minded Optimism w/T.K. Coleman

      xx Hearty


      • Good quote.
        Hang in there Hearty – being a parent is generally a thankless task. The kids only realise how hard you tried once their kids are being little shits to them!
        We’ll get our thanks, but not until we’re bent-double and wetting ourselves in the care home πŸ˜‰


  7. How can one truly say I love you in time of madness or anger? If you have the answer please do share. Andrea teens will push buttons – in fact they will push till they are adults (trust me on this) . Daughter # 2 at 26 pushes, knows her limits (occasionally). I still have screaming sessions with her (as I did when she was a teen). I do not profess to be the ideal mum, for I am not. I get angry, shite happens. Does she hate me..yes she does do we cool down over a few hours or days – yes we do and we then say we love each other. I had given her all the advice and coaching I could about drug taking, partying, sex, when she was a teen – I wasn’t there to see if she listened and heeded my advice. She is an adult now, still can push, still can have a screaming match with me..but we survive. She comes to me if she needs too, if not she steps the path of learning and figures it out herself. Believe it or not yelling now and then is good for the soul, don’t be harsh on yourself. Mums and offpring will always have little clashes – it’s normal. πŸ™‚ xx


    • yes clashes are normal… losing it happens… but I am trying to not lose it as often. Not only does it not help the situation any, but I walk away feeling like a piece of crap (and I think she feels the same way)… I know she loves me, I know she knows I love her… but I want us to be able work our differences out, to keep communication open, I am not talking about giving advice – I can do that till cows come home and she will listen or she won’t… but I want… no I need her to know that if she screws up – something bad happens, she can come to me and I want her to know that I won’t judge… and I want me to not judge… this is the learning curve… because shouldthe time of crisis occur they need to to feel safe regardless of it it’s their fault or someone-else’s… no I told you so’s… no why didn’t you listen to me’s… just open arms, a shoulder to cry on and mommy love…


    • Hey x Did you get my email earlier? x


  8. This is an awesome blog…a revelation that we all think we already know.

    As I was reading this Andrea, I was thinking, I am kind of a good mum. But as I read and thought about it … I am in the same place you are. Why do I lose patience quicker with the child. And just as important, when I do that so often … why in the world would she want to come to me for other things that I might go crazy over?

    In my head tonight I have played out the situation where she angers me. And while I see myself being angry and talking to her … I have interjected, “I love you” as part of what I want to say.

    Now, I tell her I love her often … but it is more…bye sweetie, I love you. Or getting off the phone saying that.

    But…I am trying to remember when I last told her…straight on….that I loved her. When have I EVER told her that when I am mad?

    This had got me thinking…


    • πŸ™‚ you totally get it… even though we do not say “I hate you” sometimes I think that is what our children hear when we are mad/arguing with them… I say “I love you” a lot, and yet I know that when the temperatures are rising along with the voices and the arguments are hitting that stage where it doesn’t even make sense anymore, they aren’t feeling love, they aren’t hearing love, they aren’t believing love… and that is hard. I have told my kids that I always love them no matter what – even if at certain times I don’t necessarily like them very much (or their actions/words).

      I think parenting is the toughest job on the planet… there is no instruction manual, and we are stuck flying by the seat of our pants, praying we manage to get at least some of it right…


  9. Very deep and very true. Good post πŸ™‚


  10. You are a good mom. πŸ™‚ I am following up with an email as well.


Talk to me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s