In social settings we often point out how our child or a friend’s child is behaving exactly like their parent, recognizing phrases, actions, expressions that they imitate. The context is endearing but if you think about it, it’s also very telling.
We are our child’s first teacher- just as our parents were for us.
Kids are silent observers of everything that is around them including parents, grandparents, teachers, peers, extended family and even caregivers. They observe and learn good and bad habits from everyone.
Our past and our childhood affects the choices and decisions we make as a parent. We decide based on our own experiences what practices we will keep and repeat and which ones will go with our children.
As parents we often recreate what we experienced when we were growing up. We redo and try to recreate activities that were happy memories for us- sitting around the fire eating marshmallows, skiing and beach trips, swimming lessons and so on
And if its associated with negative feelings we don’t want to pass them on to our child- playing sports, debating, halloween scare, driving on the highway etc.
Did you know factors that influenced your childhood, can profoundly affect your own parenting style?
– What was the message you received as a child from your parents- about your intelligence, ability, importance, value?
– Did your parents had a positive impact on you in a way that you would like to with your own child?
– What was it in your parents approach in raising you that you don’t want to recreate with your child?
– What if any, were the significant events or experiences growing up that had an negative impact on you- loss of a loved one or pet, parental separation, significant tension and conflict between parents or extended family, financial insecurity, family mental health issues, substance abuse- how is all this impacting your parenting?
Do any of the the above influence your parenting style?
Being conscious of our own childhood experiences and what was passed down the generations can help us become more aware of the meaning behind our motivation and reactions. And then we can check ourselves and make the necessary adjustments to mitigate their negative impact on our children.