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‘To err is human’, this means all humans make mistakes, and so do our parents. If some of your childhood memories with your parents haunt you, this may indicate that your parents may have made certain parenting mistakes. At that juncture, you may have thought or even promised yourself that you would never make the same mistakes with your child? Well, and here you are repeating the same mistakes that your parents did and scarring your child’s life too. You need to put an end to this cycle. If you are thinking on how you can achieve that, well, here in this post we shall talk about why you follow the same parenting pattern like your parents and what measures you can take to break free and let your kiddo have a better childhood than you had.
Why Do Parents Commit The Same Mistakes Which Their Own Parents Made?
No parent ever wishes to deliberately hurt their child but sometimes in ignorance or due to lack of parenting skills our parents may make certain parenting mistakes. However, the strange thing is that sometimes we may commit the same errors and here are the reasons that may be responsible for this.
1. The Urge to Project
Sometimes knowingly or unknowingly we may project how we felt as a child or how our parents’ behaved with us, onto our kids. We may see our children in the same light as our parents’ saw us, which is if our parents saw us as incapable, a loser or as a sissy. We expect our kids to be like us or to achieve the things we were not able to achieve.
2. We May Be Overreacting
To blurt out our hidden feelings against our parents we may sometimes find refuge by overreacting to various situations. By an overreacting behaviour, we mean doing things inadvertently and then going overboard with it. For example, if our parents were too strict, we will be too lenient with our child that our child may not feel loved or cared for enough. This distorted behaviour may be because of our own childhood memories.
3. We May Be Imitating
Have you found yourself reacting to a certain situation in the same way your mom or dad reacted to it? This is called imitating your parent’s behaviour. Our parents are two individuals with whom we spent our formative years and thus the way they behaved or did things greatly influenced us and as a result, we end up doing the same thing.
4. We May Feel Triggered
All kids behave more or less in a similar fashion in common situations. Sometimes how our kid behaves, may remind us of our bitter childhood memories and we get transported to the same feelings and situations. At such instances, we may not behave or act sanely but behave the way we wanted to behave at that time. For example, if you were spanked for making a mistake, you may do the same to your kid.
5. The Need To Defend
If our parents were too controlling, frightening or neglectful, then we may adapt to the situation by guarding ourselves with our psychological defences. As we grow and become parents these may still be intact. Thus, we may struggle to let our children become close to us, or we may find difficulty in reciprocating to their affection.
How to Break the Cycle of Passing on the Negative Behaviours and Mistakes of Your Parents?
There is nothing as bad as making the same mistakes that may have hurt or scarred your childhood. The best you can do is make amends and opt for ways to stop this kind of parenting tactics. We shall be discussing some ways of breaking the cycle of passing the negative behavioural traits to your kids, and we shall also discuss tips on how you can avoid making the same mistakes as your parents.
1. Every Child’s Needs Are Different
Your child’s needs may be different from yours. What you were as a child and what your child presently is, may not be the same. You have to understand and appreciate your child’s individuality. If your child faces difficulty in focusing or he suffers from a kind of learning disability, your parenting strategies will have to be adaptive and revolve around that. Be aware and know what your child needs.
2. Do Not Personalize Your Kid’s Misbehaviour
Refrain from getting emotionally triggered by your child’s mistake. You made your mistakes, and your kid is making his own mistakes, and it has nothing to do with you. Try and separate your memory from your child’s situation. If you let the emotions of your childhood memory come in between, you will not be able to respond or react with proper discretion.
3. Pay Heed to Your Parenting Style
Well sometimes we may unknowingly act or behave like our parents, but it is also true that at other times we may be well aware that we are acting like our parents. There is no reason to feel guilty because it is a normal human tendency. However, what becomes important is that you understand and not follow the same parenting pattern as your parents. Being deliberate and aware of what you need may help you become a better parent.
4. Know Your Kid
Every child is unique and different. Therefore, to have unnecessary expectations and demands from your child is the worst thing a parent can do. We all understand our child’s calibre and potential. We know whether or not our child is capable of excelling in a particular field. There is no requirement of unfair expectations or getting disappointed with your child. Know your kid and what he can do best, and then channelise his energies in the sphere where he can show good results.
5. Rehearse and Practise New Behaviour to Develop New Habits
Do not be too rigid and strict when it comes to disciplining a child. Rather keep changing your approach towards reaching an amicable solution. If you want your child to excel in academics, you cannot forever make him miss his evening badminton routine. This will not only create resentment in your child’s mind, but he will eventually not want to do what he was expected to do. Keep changing your strategies and following them religiously to achieve good habits. Therefore, teach good habits but not at the cost of creating more problems.
6. Punish Aptly
It is vital that you lay ground rules and your child should know what he is expected to do. At the same time, your kid should also be aware of the punishment in case he breaks the rules. This way you are leaving the onus on your child, and if ever he falters, he knows that he deserves a punishment for the same.
By making use of some of these useful tips, we hope you become a better parent to your kid and you help in breaking the toxic cycle of parenting!