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Your Childhood May Affect Your Parenting Skills

There’s a lot at stake with how we raise our children, with how our communities view and treat children. We, as a society, are slow to put into practice what research solidly shows as the most effective, and healthiest, way to parent. We, as a society, still struggle to see how the parent-child relationship and the home environment it creates translates not only to that child’s happiness as a child but also as an adult, as well as the lives that person will touch, especially his or her own children.

The overarching idea of parenting should not be the specific choices that define a style, whether Tiger Mom or Natural Parenting, or even the goals. Parents who use harsh methods want the same for their children as parents who use positive, nurturing methods: Both want their child to grow up to be a functioning member of society. But each approach has its own unique mindset, too, and that perspective drives how parents treat not only their children but themselves and their spouses and everyone around them.

Parents who use harsh methods are parenting from a mindset where they feel children need to be controlled, punished, and coerced. Research shows that these methods, such as spanking and yelling, are not only ineffective as a discipline method but actually harmful to that child, the parents, and the family as a whole. What we want to see is parents moving toward a warm, nurturing parenting style. The mindset that comes with this approach to parenting removes all manipulation. It’s based in trust, empathy, affection, unconditional acceptance, and joy.

For some parents, a nurturing style of parenting comes naturally. They may have been raised in the same kind of environment, or they were able to work through and heal their emotional childhood wounds before becoming a parent.

For many parents, however, a nurturing style of parenting is difficult to achieve. These parents didn’t identify their emotional childhood wounds before becoming a parent, and a child’s very nature has reopened these wounds. Even if a parent has resolved to raise her children in a nurturing way, there will be many moments where she will regress back to how she was raised unless she finds a way to heal those childhood wounds…

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One thought on “Your Childhood May Affect Your Parenting Skills

  1. Martha Hp says:

    This is such an important message. Without blaming parents for parenting the way they were parenting it shows them that they can create a better life for their children. The key is to realize that children learn most thoroughly by copying us. So if we use harsh punishment, they learn to treat themselves and others harshly. On the other hand, if we can get past out fears about "spoiling" them and making them "dependent" and realize that if we can respond to them with love and compassion they will copy that way of relating and grow into responsible citizens who treat themselves and others well, it will be much easier to put our own childhoods aside and adopt a more modern approach. For a parenting book that embodies this approach see: Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child.

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