"I lose my temper and say horrible things, and then, when they cry, I come back with, 'I'm sorry, sweetie. I love you. You know I love you baby'," a mom buddy of mine confessed. "I feel like an abusive husband."
She nailed it - a shameful analogy, but totally true.
But was it one sided? Were we parents the only "abusive" ones? I mean sure, as parents and adults we should certainly have more mastery over our anger responses, and there is no excuse whatsoever for violence against a child. But our children have us by the metaphorical balls. Because of our enabling and anxiety, this generation, unlike any before, has been empowered to wage almost professional level psychological warfare against us, their parents.
The last time I felt this level of constant manipulation was when I was a younger, stupider version of myself, in a relationship that could be best compared to Hannah's in the amazing HBO series Girls (that's all I'm going to say, Iest folks curse me for being a spoiler.) Here are the parallels:
I never thought I'd be wanting to take back the power from my kids. Wah-waaah.
Without being a tyrant, how do you keep the balance of power in your favor?