The job of a parent is a tough one; as the life of a child is totally dependent on the input and output of the parent. It is even tougher when the parent is dealing with the effects of their own abuse. As daunting as this may seem, it is also an enjoyable experience when the child is involved in its own growth process and not a figure that is subject to control from the people placed in authority over them. This sees that the child is fanned into flame and not suppressed, as often is the case. This article shines light on ways you can break the cycle of poor parenting in other to bring forth generations of healthy parents and children alike.
They are in no particular order:
Parents are mirrors that a child sees. This means that the child is always a reflection of their parents either through direct or indirect parenting. As a model, you lay the foundation for your child on how relationships with others work in the outside world. This is not consciously learnt. It is simply an unconscious education you pass to them using your own attitude towards them or their other parent.
Consider a teacher solving a mathematical problem, the student does not just internalize the answer, they understand and internalize the steps used to arrive at the answer, as the foundation on how mathematical problems as such, are solved. This gives the student an ample knowledge on the nature of such mathematical problem and how they can solve them in future occasions.
This is how it plays out when a child might resent a parents attitude towards them, but go on to relate with others in that way. The child has unconsciously internalized that behavior as a foundation for how such relationships and behavior play out in the outside world. it is therefore pertinent that you pay close attention to what you model for your child. This would help the cycle of poor parenting.
Love is a non-negotiable element a child needs to flourish. A lot of people often confuse care for love. Love is not the same as caring for or providing for a child. While care is important too, it can only go this far in building a child. There are various elements that make love what it is. Some of which are Patience- waiting through the toughest of time for the child to come around (learn). Also, Kindness- Exhibiting kindness, even though you do not feel up to it, or want to. Another element of Love is that it does not overlook or rejoice in wrong doing.
These three elements are prominent foundation in the formation of every child. This means that just like a plant, every child requires patience and kindness. While correction (support and boundaries) keeps them on the right path. It is also important that as a parent, you understand the difference between correction and abuse. Abuse focuses on the attack towards a person’s sense of dignity or value. While correction says, ‘you need to turn from that path. There is a better way.’ Both concepts are clearly defined, not interwoven.
You do not love a child because you are doing them a favor. You love a child because it is a requisite for survival, just as they would require vital nutrients for a healthy growth. Every child deserves to feel lovable (worthy of love), not loved.
Children are like seeds a farmer plant in the ground and waits for its germination. Once the plumule sprouts, it goes in whatever direction the sunlight calls from. Every parent is a farmer. It is useless to attempt to make your child go in the direction others do because you think it is more acceptable. Like the young plant, a child has their direction in life. However, as a farmer; the onus is on you to provide the support (boundaries) they need in the case of entanglement. This allows them stand on their own, in order to own and accept their voice and values.
Comparing a child to another is like turning the plumule to the direction other plants are facing. The consequence is that it could break off the newly formed plumule, and this could prevent it from sprouting again. This is the result you get when you constantly slam down a child each time they reveal their authentic selves. The obnoxious effect is that he or she learns to hide their authentic selves for fear of reprisal.
In the same way, every seed planted to the ground do not germinate at the same time. Some require extra watering and nurturing to spring forth. Never you pressure your child into developing or hitting milestones because other children of their age do. There are varying trajectories to milestones for various children. When you compare a child to another, the message you communicate across says, ‘you are not sufficient in yourself.’ ‘you need to be like others to be acceptable.’ This does not just destroy the child’s self-esteem; it takes them off their natural-inclined path. Hence, the struggles.
Before a child can develop into their genuine selves, you need to allow them use their own thoughts, while you correct where necessary. They would also need to own their own genuine feelings.
Effect Of Comparison
It creates sibling rivalry
One of the unknown effect of Comparison among children is sibling rivalry. Besides the common effects of comparison, which manifests in loss of self-esteem, as mentioned above. The child being compared to another, gradually begins to hate himself or herself and could take it out on his or her counterpart. The effect of this outlives them even into adulthood.
Acknowledge Your Parents Abuse Towards You
This aspect is so vital to the extent that it is a major determinant to how you would relate with your own offspring. People often chide themselves from accepting the fact that their own parents abused them. This is majorly because of their inability to separate factual speaking from poor speaking. They often fear that admitting such would be damning on their parents and this would make their parents fall off the infallibility ladder they have placed them. Another reason is that it keeps them from facing the real issue while they mask them with excuses. Consequently, an innocent child suffers.
Denying a fact as glaring as abuse certainly colors your imagination and keeps you from seeing what exactly is wrong. It further prevents you from seeing how it went wrong, which is pivotal on how you can avoid repeating the same mistake with your own children. Also, it keeps you from facing and dealing with your own issues. And most certainly, leads to poor boundary; both with yourself and with other people. Healing begins with understanding and acceptance. And this is pertinent in your ability to break the cycle of poor parenting.
Imagine holding a full fist-size of a ball and attempting to pick another ball with the same hand. It is not just impossible to achieve. It is also foolish to attempt. When you unlearn what you have learnt, which keeps you from achieving your desired result, you stand a better chance to take in what is workable. Truth is like a sword. When it cuts through a person, it allows a path for something to come out.
It is not just possible to break the cycle of poor parenting and consequently, abuse, it is expedient. The effects of abuse are often the culprit and when you learn to undo it, you stand a tremendous chance of breaking generational cycles of abuse and poor parenting.