I came across a great site called "Imperfect Families". Isn't that name the truth? None of us are perfect, but the important part is that we strive to become BETTER. An article on the site talks about the mixed messages that parents can send unknowingly to their children.
Common Mixed Messages
1. Ask me anything…Not right now
2. You can tell me anything…But not that
3. Hands are not for hitting…Except when I spank you
4. It’s not OK to yell…Get in here! (said while yelling)
5. Always tell the truth…Let’s say you’re still 3, so you can get in free
6. I know you two can work it out…That’s it, you’re both grounded
7. You’re always playing that video game…Just a minute, I’m on my phone
8. Whatever you’re feeling is fine…Settle down! Stop being so angry!
9. It’s Ok to make mistakes…You spilled the milk again!!
10. You don’t have to be perfect…A “B” on this test, what happened?!
11. I love you no matter what…Go away, I’m so frustrated with you
I think we'd all be lying to ourselves if we didn't admit to at least one or two of these phrases slipping out of our mouths. But we are human; we all make mistakes. So what do we do when we realize we have sent a mixed message? Nicole Schwarz, author of the article, suggests that we first identify one or two important messages within our family. We then identify ways that this message could become "mixed up". It is important to be mindful of what we say. Be aware that times of stress or overwhelm could increase the chances that we might send these mixed messages. When we catch ourselves, we should then stop, apologize and try to correct the message. Remember, no parent is perfect, but even by reading this article, you are already striving to become better! Pat yourself on the back for this....then go unmix those messages!
To view the article in full, go to http://www.imperfectfamilies.com/2014/01/11-mixed-messages-parents-send-and-how-to-stop/