Recovering From Parental Mistakes(ruptures)

Jul 29, 2022

Relationships are messy.

That’s the nature of them.

In all our relationships, we’re constantly having moments of connection and disconnection. That’s ok and normal.

We really want though, that the moments of connection with our kids should far exceed disconnection. When this isn’t the case, a “rupture” begins to happen.

Let’s define moments of disconnection first:

- Shaming our kids

- Losing our temper badly with them

- Dishing our punishments - Issuing threats

- Not accepting their big feelings

- Not heeding their concerns

 

When any of these things or a combination of them become frequent, a rupture happens.

The first time I heard this word- I was reminded of an image from my childhood.

That of a bicycle’s tyre being punctured.

I’ll tell you why.

Any time my bicycle had a puncture- I’d take it to my neighborhood’s tyre repair shop. There, the guy would take out the inner tube from the tyre and stick it in water to find out WHERE the puncture was located. The puncture spot would reveal itself by releasing bubbles into the water. The guy would then take it out, mark it and repair it with a neat patch. My bicycle tyre would be as good as new!

This is exactly the process we need to pursue where the rupture has happened in our child’s world. We have to “stick it in the water” so to speak and find the “puncture”.

For example, a few weeks ago I realized that Husna is having a ton of big emotions. Everything is a struggle for her, from changing clothes to eating to even playing with her baby brothers which she normally is so good at. She was constantly pushing back on everything, and fighting us on everything.

 

One day I realized there’s been a rupture and I need to find where it is. What’s causing all her air to leak, so to speak. Ha

Then I realized I was in Pakistan for 10 days without the kids and when I returned, the quarantine started right away. I was caught off guard by this big thing and never really took the time to connect with her. I had a VERY difficult transition when I returned.

My mom wasn’t doing well (she has Alzheimer’s). My brother had just had major surgery. And I had to leave them all, come back here, tend to my kids’ needs and be informed that even my usual reinforcements (friends and cousins here) would not be available to me for support. I totally had a breakdown.

 

During this time, I fell into a pattern of never validating Husna and her need for connection. She’s such an affectionate and loving kid and needs lots of love and hugs and “gups” (chats). Instead, I was just constantly shutting her down by either letting her do whatever she wanted because I dreaded her big reactions (horrible boundary setting) or I became too harsh and just refused to even listen to her.

No wonder, she was falling apart.

Once I realized this, it was relatively easy to reconnect. I had to mindfully set boundaries, be ready for the big emotions and just sit in them with her a few times with loving validation. Within a day, she was a totally different kid!

 

We had reconnected and were as good as new... just like my bicycle tyre [✨] [?]

 

Urdu video version here and in comments: https://youtu.be/aYzhSJzYM4g

 

Maryam Munir