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Certified Parenting Coach Explains How Gen X Parents 'Went Too Far' And Messed Up Their Kids

Photo: Kindel Media / Pexels 
mom comforting upset son

Kim Muench describes herself on TikTok as “the mom of 5 adults and a certified parent coach who works with parents of 18 to 25 year olds.” She shared her theory about how Gen X’s particular parenting style has affected their kids.

The certified parenting coach explained how Gen X messed up their kids by going too far with their parenting style. 

Muench broke down her theory on the ways in which Gen X parents have caused harm to their kids by over-validating their emotions and not setting strict boundaries, which she claimed was a result of not having their own emotions validated by their Boomer parents.

“In my opinion, we grew up with parents who didn’t know that validating our feelings was important, and didn’t know how to do that, because previous generations to that didn’t care, either, and as a result, when Gen X started having kids, we overcompensated, trying to give our kids what we didn’t have,” she explained. 

Gen X parents offered their kids what they lacked from their parents, including “emotional connection [and] validation of their feelings, but we went too far.”

   

   

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We became too empathetic, to a place where we didn’t set boundaries with our kids because we worried that it might have hurt their feelings or they might have an angry outburst,” Muench revealed.

She asserted that Gen X did a disservice to their kids by trying to cushion any hardships, which resulted in a lack of resiliency.

“We were uncomfortable with our kids’ big feelings, therefore, we tiptoe around it to make sure that they don’t have them. This has been a disservice to our kids,” Muench said.

Yet she also noted that by reworking the nature of the parenting relationship and setting boundaries these mistakes could be fixed. She shared, “You can validate and see your kids for who they are, respect your kids for who they are, but not have to acquiesce and tiptoe around and not set boundaries with them.”

Parenting Coach Explains How Gen X Parents Messed Up Their KidsPhoto: August de Richelieu / Pexels 

“There has to be boundary setting,” she stated. “And when it comes to parents of young adults, it’s not setting boundaries around your young adults’ behavior, it’s setting personal boundaries for yourself.”

In a separate TikTok post, Muench elaborated on the reasons moms worried about setting boundaries with their young adults. She listed off several fears moms had around establishing boundaries, including the fear of rejection, fear of confrontation, and fear of no longer being needed.

   

   

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Muench posed the following question to her followers: “How do you set effective personal boundaries?” 

“You need to be unemotional in your delivery,” she explained. “Know what actions you’re willing to take if the boundary is broken. Be willing where you can to negotiate and expect gradual change.”

Parenting Coach Explains How Gen X Parents Messed Up Their KidsPhoto: Thuanny Gantuss / Pexels 

She also shared that parents should allow for setbacks, but shouldn’t give in just because the boundary doesn’t work right away. “Setting boundaries is having the courage enough to love yourself and trust that the other person will rise to the challenge of meeting that boundary,” she concluded.

While Gen X parents may have overcorrected for what they felt was missing in their own childhoods, their mistakes aren’t set in stone. As Muench made clear, shifting one’s expectations and parenting style is totally possible. 

Relationships are hardly ever static and parents can love their kids while setting the boundaries needed to take care of each other. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.