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Taking the pressure off myself
#1
Hi all...

I wondered if anyone had any experience of 'councelling'? I'm finding certain things a bit of a struggle - mainly putting too much pressure on myself to be a perfect dad/make every day out super special etc. It stems from having a great childhood myself - aI want my kids to have the great memories I do, even if I/we have shattered their childhood somewhat with the split.

It occasionally gets the better of me in terms of snapping a tad or taking the hump when the kids don't seem to enjoy a visit somewhere (ie, when it's not as perfect as it was in my head). Could do with a sounding board for giving stuff like this perspective - I'm much more relaxed as a dad since the split, but I'm wary that every second counts and /I don't want their memories to be my 'uptight' moments. Every parent has these I know, but they're obviously magnified for us!
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#2
Very few people are "perfect parents".

We all have our faults and when it's personal it's hard to remain objective when things don't go as you'd want them to. Not every day can be a perfect day even amongst parents that are together with their kids all the time.
Being a good Dad isn't about money, or days out. It's about being there for them and guiding them through the early stages of their lives to make them decent adults so they can raise children of their own. Don't get wrapped up in your own perceived "failures", the kids will learn from this and judge their own lives in a similar fashion as they get older. I'm sure you wouldn't want that to happen.

I went through counselling many years ago, not related to being a parent, and one of the things that stood out about it was it just gave you the chance to offload your thoughts and fears onto someone who wasn't going to be judgemental or condescending. Did it help?...well I'm still here and trying to help others, but even I have my bad days but I won't dwell on them, once the day is done, that's it, you can't go back and change it. Learn from it and move forward.

If you wanted to seek counselling your first port of call would probably be your GP, who would have seen people needing this before, so you wouldn't be the first or the last with finding some aspects of life difficult.

The fact that you are posting on here sort of proves that point Smile
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#3
(03-21-2016, 09:38 AM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: Very few people are "perfect parents".

We all have our faults and when it's personal it's hard to remain objective when things don't go as you'd want them to. Not every day can be a perfect day even amongst parents that are together with their kids all the time.
Being a good Dad isn't about money, or days out. It's about being there for them and guiding them through the early stages of their lives to make them decent adults so they can raise children of their own. Don't get wrapped up in your own perceived "failures", the kids will learn from this and judge their own lives in a similar fashion as they get older. I'm sure you wouldn't want that to happen.

I went through counselling many years ago, not related to being a parent, and one of the things that stood out about it was it just gave you the chance to offload your thoughts and fears onto someone who wasn't going to be judgemental or condescending. Did it help?...well I'm still here and trying to help others, but even I have my bad days but I won't dwell on them, once the day is done, that's it, you can't go back and change it. Learn from it and move forward.

If you wanted to seek counselling your first port of call would probably be your GP, who would have seen people needing this before, so you wouldn't be the first or the last with finding some aspects of life difficult.

The fact that you are posting on here sort of proves that point Smile

Good points, thanks N :-)

It's not so much the money (although we all get frustrated having forked out for a trip that doesn't go down as well as hoped)...it's more a pressure to create memories, aided by the experience of going places with me. I think I'm doing an ok job of guiding them and teaching those life lessons along the way...I guess I just hate to think that their memories of days with me might be of boredom or lack of excitement (we go to cool places don't get me wrong - I just fear I choose badly occasionally!)
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#4
So instead of making plans which you feel have to fit in with your idea of a "perfect day", why not ask them what they'd like to do and "go with the flow"?

Kids don't always want to spend money, my daughter loves beating me at cards, and that makes me happy coz it's something of her choosing.

As for creating memories, if things flare up because you think the day wasn't a success then the only memories they'll have are ones of a "grumpy Dad".....Try to see the world and desires through their eyes. It might throw a whole new light on things? Smile
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#5
(03-21-2016, 12:16 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: So instead of making plans which you feel have to fit in with your idea of a "perfect day", why not ask them what they'd like to do and "go with the flow"?

Kids don't always want to spend money, my daughter loves beating me at cards, and that makes me happy coz it's something of her choosing.

As for creating memories, if things flare up because you think the day wasn't a success then the only memories they'll have are ones of a "grumpy Dad".....Try to see the world and desires through their eyes. It might throw a whole new light on things? Smile

We do all the cool little stuff too, but I just let the pressure get to me.

Case in point, after working on decorating some eggs all weekend when they were with me, I got my dates mixed up and thought they were due to school on thursday - they were due in this morning. A small thing but in my head that's a big black mark against daddy in the memory bank - even though we had the fun doing them!
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#6
We all make mistakes...It's how we deal with them that defines us.

Prime example....Me believing my ex when she said "I'd never stop you seeing your child" Smile
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