Why Does Raising A Mini-Me Feel So Hard?



Young children maintain a mirror up to us like no 1 else.

But what transpires when you really don’t like what you see?

What happens when you realize you are raising your really have “mini me,” and your heart sinks?

Why is elevating a mini me tricky?

I discovered that guiding and supporting a miniature model of me meant holding that mirror back up to myself. It took a lot of soul seeking and acceptance to move further than messages of shame and self-loathing that I had picked up.

If you have a little one who reminds you of by yourself and whose behaviors or upsets you discover tough to take care of, it could be you will need to find extra compassion for your self as well. 

Elevating a mini me from day a person

Let me be really apparent. I dearly enjoy my youngster and normally will. What is tough is when I can see that they are a “chip off the old block”, as the expressing goes, and I would have desired they took more from the “other” parenting block. My husband is a great deal extra chill and mellow than I am or ever was. He was also a quite uncomplicated kid by all accounts.

I understood early on that my firstborn was taking following me. In fact, it begun with the to start with cry. (My mum and partner said it was precisely like mine!). This baby is very sure about what they want, has had quite distinct boundaries from an early age and reveals potent-will and tenacity. (Go through extra about robust-willed children below)

Really don’t we want young children to be sturdy advocates?

“These are excellent qualities!” 

That’s what I would say to any one parenting a baby with these qualities. We want our youngsters to be powerful advocates for them selves. We want them to be pretty crystal clear on what they will and won’t tolerate. We want them to be in a position to coherently, emphatically and intelligently argue their way out of anything that does not provide them.

So what was my difficulty?

The problem with raising a mini me was viewing myself

I was viewing myself in this boy or girl. 

I didn’t like it at all. Why? 

I didn’t adore myself. 

There’s a tune by New Zealand singer, Lorde, and the very first time I read it I experienced to pull over on the aspect of the highway and bawl as I read her sing these words and phrases: “They say ‘you’re a liability, you’re a very little much for me.’ ”


That felt like me.

I observed all people great qualities that I feel make for sturdy human beings, the adjust-makers and the fierce advocates, via my own lens of dread. I experienced these kinds of distressing recollections of the problems people very same traits experienced introduced on me in my youth. 

So any time my baby exhibited off-track conduct, my first feelings went to worst-situation scenarios. I blamed myself for her behavior and I also resented her for being Just. Like. Me.

I noticed all the points I didn’t like mirrored in my child

As a child I was acknowledged as the “naughty” just one, applying humor and disruption to amuse my classmates into liking me. I selected to be brashy and outspoken and my mouth received me in hassle continuously. 

True or not, I felt like I was way too substantially difficulty for every person. 

And now below I was, seeing all these factors I did not really like about myself mirrored in my possess baby.

And then I uncovered a device that assisted me obtain love and acceptance for us the two. 

This instrument served me come across like and acceptance

A single quite strong software we have below at Hand In Hand Parenting is Listening Partnerships. This is where you share uninterrupted and unfiltered venting, pondering, crying, complaining, and whichever you like with a Listener. They will not choose, interrupt, rationalize, hypothesize or refer again to just about anything you’ve reported. 

Alternatively, your spouse trusts in your inherent knowledge of your personal situation and affirms that you are excellent and you are smart. That you will usually obtain the alternative to whatsoever it is you are doing work on.

The principle of listening like this is unconventional to numerous men and women, as even in our closest and most snug friendships there is normally some back and forth or relating this kind of as “When I went by way of some thing related, this is what worked…” 

That strategy, of training course, totally has its position, but as I realized myself, Listening Time is upcoming amount. I have found it integral to surviving the myriad problems parenting supplies.

It is widespread for people to need to have a tiny aid having heading when they get started with Listening Partnerships. A person way to do this is by imagining what existence was like when you had been your child’s age. My Listening Partner proposed I try out it, but I didn’t genuinely get how it would do the job. 

Then I found myself providing it a shot on a spouse and children trip. 

How my personal experiences impacted boosting my mini me little one

By that stage, my mini-me child was seven, and I was discovering it more durable than at any time to father or mother her in standard. It was at that stage she had started to be motivated much more by her friends and she experienced turn out to be additional and far more powerful in herself. Everything felt tough.

And then my other child began combating again. All of a sudden we experienced double the upsets. Because we had been on a excursion, we ended up in extremely shut quarters with my full family members. It felt like just about every a person of them was blaming all the hitting and kicking on my mini-me. There had been two roles emerging and becoming cemented—one of instigator and 1 of target. 

To be truthful, I felt the identical way!

I felt so mad. All these several years of railing on her sibling experienced finally resulted in our ordinarily calm very little pacifist baby hanging again.

But something else dawned on me. 

My mini me kid experienced no-1 on her facet. Including me.


My mini me child had no-one particular on her aspect

So I went to the Hand In Hand Parenting Facebook page and identified an unexpected emergency Listening Companion in the suitable timezone and I figured I would give this strategy of revisiting my childhood a go.

My memories of childhood are vague at very best. But when I did wind the clock back again, I understood my second sibling was born the calendar year I turned 7. Shortly after, my grandma died abroad and my mum experienced to leave us all for a whole thirty day period. She took the baby with her, but we stayed property. 

Meanwhile, I did some thing I felt extremely ashamed of at faculty and that I carried with me for a long time afterward. 

Old experiences led me to new compassion

I utilised the listening session to perform by way of that incident. Following processing what I had gone by way of at the time, I was out of the blue capable to experience a deep and full compassion for the boy or girl I was. 

The very poor point! 

My actions experienced been a apparent SOS, but again then, manage and punishment had been the go-to responses. No one took into thought nearly anything else that was likely on for me, and I picked up a deep sense of shame that I ongoing to carry for many a long time. Soon after this Listening session, I eventually felt freed of it.

No surprise I was finding it difficult to dad or mum my seven-year-aged.

Deep-down, parenting her had reminded me of one particular of the worst intervals of my lifetime. A single of the to start with occasions I experienced internalized that I was a “bad kid”. It was a time I experienced felt that no-just one would assistance me. 

My child’s actions was an SOS

Right after this listening session I at last felt free of that.

I now understood why it felt tough to dad or mum my mini-me youngster, especially at that age. In actuality, I recognized that the really hard sections in parenting for me have been usually about my personal pain. My personal aged messaging getting in the way of the awesome equipment I’d found out by means of Hand in Hand. 

I could see it was going on below far too!

The soreness of the situation reminded me of my have childhood and blocked me from responding to my youngster with the empathy, compassion and understanding I had so desperately wished. 

As a substitute, past messages rang clear in my head and told me: 

  • “Get this kid under manage!”
  • “They need to have self-discipline!” 
  • “If you let items maintain likely this way you will hardly ever have manage!” 

Command is not the remedy

Here’s the detail. We simply cannot have an authentic relationship where manage is our target and without having an reliable romance, we simply cannot foster relationship, which is the vital to flourishing as human beings. The bonus is that as a result of connection we actually do locate cooperation. 

Soon after the listening session, I could see plainly that my child’s conduct was a contact for me to see she was struggling. It was not about me at all.

When I went back to my 7-12 months-aged with that compassion, I was in a position to be their a person advocate. The moment I was capable to see by way of the fog of my anger, harm and annoyance, I was able to improved communicate up for her.

I was capable to help other spouse and children associates see what styles were being emerging, and how we were essentially fortifying them rather of dissolving them.

My journey of self-enjoy stared listed here

Listening Time was wherever I started off my journey of self-appreciate. 

I have used it to brainstorm what I can do to boost it in myself, spots the place I have lost my like of self, how I can get back it and why it is so critical for me to do this. I want for my kids to have a deep really like of them selves and I know modeling this truly for them is essential. Or at the very least becoming genuine about it however getting a journey for me.

Listening Time is also where by I unpack the reality that my baby is not in fact me. They could remind me of parts of myself that scare me. I may well at times sense like I am debating myself. Or lament that the apple has not fallen far from the tree. But they have other elements to their temperament that are not at all like I was. For instance, they do pretty well in a college setting and a teacher would not have a clue who on earth this publish is about!

If you have a baby who is equivalent to you, whose behaviors you come across tricky to manage, exploring how those similarities may possibly be triggering for you could be helpful. 

Create compassion, not comparison

Special Time is a further software that I identified handy in parenting my mini-me. Special Time is a single-on-one particular perform time the place you set a timer, let your baby to lead and you just DELIGHT in them devoid of distraction. If your brain wanders, you carry it again to your beloved boy or girl in front of you and how a great deal you adore them. Get a no cost guide to Particular Time.

At times it assisted me to remember them as a babe in arms and these gushy emotions keeping them manufactured me experience. When I was delighting in them I was absolutely focused on them, so I celebrated their characteristics as their possess in its place of drawing comparisons to myself. 

This was also a way for my youngster to fill their cup entire with my warmth and consideration, whilst they experienced me all to on their own. Obtaining this prospect is seriously significant and is a good way to relieve sibling rivalry and other fears and insecurities.

Use these techniques again and yet again as your child grows

This self love journey will constantly be a little something I revisit time and time all over again by way of Listening Partnerships, especially as my little one will get more mature and the fears and stakes of the teen many years loom larger sized. 

Listening Time is the a person tool I can rely on to often provide me with specifically what I have to have, even when I am not certain of specifically what that is. 

By listening I am reminded that equally myself and my child have deep empathy, a potent feeling of correct and wrong and will talk up when we will need to.

I also remind myself that I have witnessed this boy or girl improve into an awesome human getting, separate from me and with lots of strengths that I could only aspiration of. 

I have viewed them transfer in the globe in a way that awes and impresses me and would make me sense blessed and honored to have a essential purpose in this journey.

I will hold operating on loving me and I will hardly ever stop loving her.

Are you increasing a “mini-me”?

Use these concerns and techniques to continue to keep your relationship with your miniature you robust and rooted in relationship. 

  1. Revisit what was taking place for you when you were being the age your child is now. What messages did you get or want to get? How can you come to feel compassion for the boy or girl you had been? Repeat this any time you enter a section that feels specifically hard with your boy or girl and see what you uncover.
  2. In difficult times (or just later on) envision holding your boy or girl when they were young. Concentration on all that you admired and dreamed for them. 
  3. What elements of yourself have you experimented with to cover? Are you trying to defend and defend your child from the same characteristics or attributes? How can you come to celebrate them? What would you have liked to have listened to about them as a youngster?
  4. Make a list of the methods you are very similar and the ways you are distinctive. What do you admire about each?
  5. In situations of struggle or stress, we can normally default to comparisons and outdated messaging associated to us, relatively than see our child’s working experience as their individual. All through their upsets, hear and hold the strategy that they are superior and will determine factors out in their possess way. This allows continue to keep your attention focused on your youngster.  
  6. Expend time undertaking Distinctive Time the place you can delight and spend attention to particularly what your boy or girl is undertaking in the moment and delight in what they want to share with you. 



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