When you think about how you parent and how you interact with your children, encourage them, discipline them, or show them love, can all be a reflection on how we were treated by our own parents. If you, for example, grew up in a home that wasn’t very touchy-feely and there were few hugs or words of affirmation, then doing that yourself with your own children might be quite strange to do. We learn from what we know, rightly or wrongly.
When you become a parent, though, it is up to you to decide what kind of parent you want to be. Importantly, it is also a must to think about the kind of person that you want to be for your children. There is a quote that you’ve probably heard of that says ‘be the kind of parent that you needed as a child,’ and that is certainly very true. You might have had an upbringing where you can and do emulate how your parents raised you, but not everyone will want to, as the way that you parent is a choice, and it does take some time to be thinking about how you want to do things.
Motherhood or fatherhood may come really natural to some, and loving your child when they are born is one of the easiest things you will ever do. But there are aspects of parenting that aren’t so simple or so fun, and no matter how much you love your children, sometimes you don’t necessarily like them! Parenting, though, as mentioned, can guided by how your parents, parented you. And as a result, there are ways that you can choose the type of parenting that you want to do.
One of the first ways that you could parent is by doing exactly as your parents did back in the day, whether it may be good or bad, or even unconsciously or consciously.
We will all have little habits or opinions that will have been formed because of your upbringing. If you are someone that has ever thought to yourself that you are beginning to sound like your mother, then it is a pretty normal thing; some mannerisms can be passed on. You might have had a childhood that was really wonderful you might be really keen to do just as your parents did. But as we know, this isn’t going to be the case for everyone. There will be some of us that had parents who yelled a lot or belittled them often, as well as parents that weren’t supportive. These negative cycles can be really easily repeated if you aren’t conscious about trying to break it.
A second way to parent can be to intentionally scrutinise how you were brought up and your own childhood.
From there you can delve deep into how you were treated, how you felt, what was good, and what was negative. Another aspect to think about is that if you are parenting with a partner, you have to come to some point of agreement between you, and as many parents will know (whether they are together or not), these can both be really different experiences, and trying to get to a place where you agree can be tricky, but is necessary. From finding out you are expecting, to looking up things like British girl names for your baby, there are a lot of things that you will have to come together on. So start to think about the things that you want the same as your childhood, as well as the things that you don’t want for your childhood.
What do you need to do when you have noticed some negative traits that you have inherited from your parents? We might have grand plans but sometimes those things can manifest themselves as little differently as we might have imagined. Plus, as we become a parent and fully learn all that is involved, any of the plans that we have had can go out of the window!
There are many stages you go through when you have children, from newborn, to toddler, preschooler, school children, teens, and then learning to parent from a distance with adults. If you want to look at how your upbringing and your parents have impacted you, then you need to look at how you behaved during these times. For example, how do you react when your children are really hard, tired or frustrated? How do you manage stress, especially if you are a single parent and have a lot of time alone with the children? If we ever find that we are acting in a way that isn’t good, or makes our children feel a little small, then it often isn’t the children’s fault, but rather an issue that we have with ourselves. In those instances we must look to understand why we are doing what we are doing or behaving how we are behaving.
Once you are more conscious of how and why you do things and have started to notice the traits that aren’t that positive, you will have made the first step into how you can transform your parenting. By zeroing in on what you want to change, you can also think about the way things that your parents did made you feel when they acted in certain ways; were they good or bad? This kind of analysis isn’t for the faint hearted; it does need you to be strong and honest with yourself. You don’t want to make it that you feel upset about things or resentful, but rather that you are able to create a plan for change and then follow through with it. But you can do it. Changing your parenting, especially when you look at your beautiful children, you’ll know that the hard work is worth it for them, and for you.
Have you been one of the people that has started to hear their own parents in the things that you have said? Do you find that there are things from how you were raised that are reflected in how you are parenting now? For better or for worse, there are plenty of things that you can do to change things, or to follow in a wonderful parenting example.