How to teach my son's "yes you can"
I grew up a very sheltered child. My mother was the kind of woman who was afraid of her own shadow. She grew up with an abusive/alcoholic mother and a workaholic father. Needless to say she did not have a good upbringing. The times my mother's parents were together, it was an extremely toxic environment. She was physically and emotionally abused. Despite my mother hating her childhood and resenting her parents for what they did. She simply gives them the excuse of "it was just the way things were for that generation".
My mother essentially applied the exact same principle when I was a child. The only difference was that she was not an alcoholic. Nor did she work. But she was absolutely terrified of everything and she was terrified of me growing up. My mother could be the cruelest person I've ever known. My mother could make me feel so small. My mother made me absolutely terrified of the world and made me feel that everything I ever wanted to accomplish was impossible. My mother so aggressively and furiously sheltered me. Instead of letting me go to my baseball game, my mother said "lets go rent a movie instead". All the while she stayed in bed, while I alone sat in a dark living room watching a movie, instead of playing my baseball game. This was a common occurrence. All the way until I graduated high school. My mother made me so scared of the world. I spare you the details of my first girlfriend that my mother so desperately tried to keep me from. However that severely made me afraid for years to experience a relationship with another female. My mother was cruel, jealous and could be very vindictive. I could do no right in her eyes, all the while she desperately tried to keep at her side at all times.
This is not an opportunity of me to just bash my mother. This is someone who is now a 30 year old man with a wife and 2 sons of hisown. Despite being very successful with my career, I still struggle with that child in me who is afraid of the world. I have experienced so much, yet at the same time I struggle so severely that I can't accomplish my goals.
Here I am now with 2 sons. One 3 year old and one 10 month old. And all I wanna do is show them "yes you can". I want them so badly to know they can believe in themselves. I always fear that they'll grow up believing they're no good. Of course I refuse to raise them as I was raised. My wife and I provide a wonderful life for them. I just want them to grow up with a good wholesome life.
My internal issue is....How does a man who never believed in himself as a child, and still carry that struggle with him to this day, raise 2 boys to believe in themselves?
Its very brave of you to share this and shows how much you have come through the situation. You have achieved a great deal - wife and children so hopefully you believe in yourself now. Heaps lots of praises on your children and gently encourage them to pick themselves up when they fail at the first attempt. I'm sure there are lots of books on the subject as well as information online. No-one is a perfect parent, we all do the best we can.