Volcano Parents

Description

Parents must address their own emotional health and deal with their own issues so they don’t further damage a child in their wake. Kids have a better chance at growing up if their parents do so first.

These parents erupt over relatively minor issues. Please note I’m not just talking about parents with anger issues — although there are certainly plenty of those, and kids do pay the price for parents who are out of control. But the “volcanoes” I’m talking about here are a particular variation of over-involved parents who will “erupt” suddenly, without warning, when they’re frustrated with something that happens with their child. And because they are so invested with their children, their frustration level seems to remain at a constant simmer.

These are the parents who will write papers or do homework for their children, then storm into the school office when they receive a poor grade. Why are they so angry? Because the boundaries between them and their child have become fuzzy. They want so much for their child to make it, because their child is their last hope of leaving some sort of name or legacy for themselves. They have unrealized dreams or baggage they never dealt with in a healthy way. Sadly, these parents provide neither the model nor the healthy environment that students need. Not only do they prevent kids from learning to do their work; they also teach their children inappropriate ways of handling frustration. All too easily, the offspring of volcano parents develop their own volcanic tendencies.

The problem: These parents have unrealized dreams, sometimes an unhealthy past — that they try to fulfill through their children. They also have issues with self-control, anger and fuzzy boundaries.

The issue: The child represents the best way for the adult parent to accomplish the dream they gave up on years earlier, even if it is vicariously done. Their behavior is often the result of past baggage. The best step these adults can take is self-care. They must address their own emotional health and deal with their own issues so they don’t further damage a child in their wake. Once again, kids have a better chance at growing up if their parents do so first.

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