Develop Parenting skills to raise emotionally intelligent and responsible children
Just because we were once children, it doesn’t mean that we automatically learned how to be parents. As we grow up, our brain grows with us and plays all kinds of tricks to make us feel better about ourselves. It’s very common that we end up making the same parenting mistakes that our parents did – even when we swore on our souls that we would never do it and would be completely different parents.
Why do we do this? First of all, because it worked. Apart from some chilling cases of really bad parenting, most bad parenting cases produce functional adults which in a way proves that the parenting was probably better than it felt when we were growing up.
Perhaps we felt that our parents were over-controlling because we were rebellious teenagers who needed control or we don’t think our parents were that permissive, they were just cool and did the right thing by giving us total freedom because nothing really bad happened. Looking around us now, being adults, we can see so many things that our parents were right about so in the end they really knew best.
While this is fortunately true in a lot of cases, it is also not true for a lot of us. We are just unaware of the unhealthy coping mechanisms we developed as adults because of how our parents educated us. But the point is not to blame them or make anybody feel bad because the truth is – nobody knows how to be a parent. Having parents or the experience of parenthood in itself doesn’t necessarily teach you how to be a good parent.
Like anything else in life, if you want to be good you need to be willing to put in the hours to study – and practice – how to develop good parenting skills to raise responsible and mature children.
Raising Children in a modern world
We never knew so much about ourselves, our minds and our children’s minds as we do today. There is so much content out there devoted to child psychology – articles, blogs, books, YouTube Channels, documentaries… you name it! Parents were never so engaged with their children and worried and anxious about raising them well.
Technology made it much harder for us to control what our children consume and who they are becoming with their online identities and this rapid advances that shaped our society made the gap between generations extremely hard to bridge.
There are good and bad things about raising children in a world threatened by climate change, inequality and a never-ending stream of new technologies and fast trends. But the core values of family love and responsible mature parenting didn’t change and our children still need us.
Overprotecting authoritarian parents vs Overly permissive and liberal parents
Most of the times, overprotecting authoritarian parents often raise anxiously attached adults. Anxiously attached adults are constantly trying to over-compensate for their flaws and failures which they saw highlighted their whole life by their parents. They have an excessive need to please and obey which results in neglecting their own thoughts and feelings, thoughts and feelings that were never acknowledged by their parents growing up. They lack self-esteem, don’t trust themselves to make the best choices and are generally very dependent on others, as they were on their parents.
They will often seek partners to whom they are devoted and try to impress at all costs so they can have affection and attention, the affection and attention they used to seek from their parents but never got.
Overly permissive and excessively liberal parents, on the other hand, often raise avoidantly attached adults. Avoidantly attached adults find it hard to relate to others and to empathize because their whims and wishes were always sovereign, since they were kids. They always got what they wanted from their parents and some even learned how to use all kinds of techniques to get what they desired.
So why would they refrain from doing the same to friends, partners, co-workers and employees? They don’t know how to accept a ‘no’, cannot regulate their frustration or anger when they don’t get what they want out of people or situations and are generally demanding and spoiled, just as they were with their parents. That’s why is crucial to develop parenting skills to raise your children with a degree of certainty in your parenting abilities.
Of course, there are exceptions. There are people who were raised by authoritarian parents who are confident and assertive and people raised by overly permissive parents who are generous and empathetic. However, many years of research on parenting styles, dimensions and beliefs based on the personalities of their children, taught us about the negative long-term impact that these can have on adults.
Positive change for the family
Wanting to be a better parent and learn about parenting and parenting styles is the first step into an incredibly positive change for the family. If you take the time to get to know yourself as a parent, yourself as person in the role of a parent as well as getting to know your children as children and people, the benefits for both will be immense.
You must feel confident as a parent and shouldn’t fear to exercise your authority but you should also not fear to listen to what your child has to say to you and how they feel and think. Their feelings and thoughts must be validated because only then you will understand what the best strategy is for you and your child. It can be such a rewarding and marvelous experience, to really get to know your child and create a genuine trust and friendship on top of the unconditional family love!
Families go through many problems as children grow up and it doesn’t take a while before resentment is created and a situation of tension becomes the norm. You don’t know how to talk to your child anymore, a person you brought into the world and raised is suddenly an alien living under your roof. You share blood, a house, a culture yet it feels like you are not even part of the same world and don’t speak the same language.
If you don’t take some action, then whatever the issue is with your children will only get bigger and harder to heal and can likely cause them traumas and unhealthy coping mechanisms that you can easily avoid.
“The goal as a parent is to help your child feel competent and confident, and to help him or her develop a sense of passion and purpose,” – Susan Stiffelman (Educational Therapist)
Parenting is complicated but it is an immense joy, to bring a new human being to the world, watch them grow, teach them and learn from them. Your child can grow up to be your best friend, your student and your teacher. There are of course very difficult children and situations and there are cases in which you simply cannot fix your children without professional help. Just remember that with a certain amount of commitment and everlasting parental love a lot can be achieved.
Enroll for our free Parenting course
If you decide that you want to learn and practice parenting skills to raise your children to be mature and responsible adults, this course will be a very helpful guide to achieve your goal. If you do feel like you could improve the relationship you have with your children, make them listen to you, listen to them and have overall a better family life, the course Parenting Skills to raise emotionally intelligent and responsible children can help you do it. These 10 lessons will take you through different topics such as common parent traps, affirming and learning how to say ‘no’, with examples and practical exercises for you to develop and strengthen these tools. Parenting takes work and it will be a journey full of twists and turns but it is within your reach to have healthy control over your parenting skills and create a better story for your family!