“When I grow up, I’ll do it differently”.
Many children who have had bad experiences say this sentence to themselves. Maybe you’ve said that before. But what if all of a sudden we are the ones yelling at or even ignoring our child? Then it’s time to think about what shaped us as children and how our own childhood experiences affected our adult lives. So that we can do it better or at least really differently.
What childhood experiences shape us as adults?
We want to create a nice and secure home for our own children, a place where they can grow up carefree and happy. But we are not infallible either. Too often we are influenced by our own childhood memories and experiences.
We as parents must reflect on our behavior again and again, as mother and father talk about it and think about what shaped us positively and, above all, negatively as a child. Because only in this way can we consciously steer the relationship with our child positively and ensure that our bad childhood experiences are not passed on to the next generation.
Several factors have been examined in scientific studies and show that unpleasant experiences in early childhood and adolescence can lead to our own child later struggling with depression, possibly becoming aggressive, or even unable to bond. So, let’s see what these childhood experiences are and what we can do to prevent negative effects.
What happens if you don’t devote enough time to your child?
In English, there is the saying: “Family time is Quality Time”, which means that the time you spend with your family is or should be valuable.
In everyday life, unfortunately, it happens far too often that a phone call or the laundry lying around takes us and our thoughts. We do not see or listen to our child when he is talking about something. “There’s a bee in my room,” says our darling and we push it aside and possibly even send it away, annoyed.
What seems to us to be an unimportant information at the moment is probably our child attempt to show us something wonderful.
A bee may seem banal to us. For our children, who are just beginning to discover the world, there is probably something fascinating that they want to share with us. Or they are afraid of something looking for our help. But by ignoring them or even sending them away, we give them the feeling that we don’t care. Our children are offended, they don’t understand why we are not taking them seriously and, in the worst case, interpret from this that they are not important enough for us as persons.
Your child needs your attention
The same thing happens when your child can do whatever they want. Of course, this is great at first if parents don’t immediately go to the barricades and the child is allowed to spend hours on the playground, for example. But at some point, they will ask whether you are not worried and why. Isn’t it important enough to you?
Children who grow up with prohibitions may at some point tend to rebel and test their limits, but in such a case parents can talk to their child about the meaning of a prohibition, such as: “You are not allowed to play alone on the street because it is dangerous is. What if a car hits you? We worry because we love you.” Some kind of punishment is also okay if the child understands why it is not allowed to do something.
Saying nothing or even being silent is much worse because we unconsciously signal to our child that they are not important enough to us.
Children need rules and boundaries. Children who get too little attention from their parents sometimes try to attract them through bad behavior. A vicious circle. In adulthood, this can lead to depression or even inferiority complexes. A study of behaviors passed from parents to their children (British Columbia University, 2014) found that children who were neglected in their upbringing can later develop into disrupted personalities.
Consciously take time for your child
When we are fully employed or even as a single parent, the time for our child can become unintentionally short, which makes it all the more important that we give ourselves conscious parent-child time.
Tell your child that you now have something important to do and that you will have time for them afterward. Show them on the clock that you will come as soon as the hand is on three. Let them know that they are being taken seriously; they just have to wait for a little.
But here is something very important. Don’t disappoint them, take the time, even if it’s only half an hour, to paint unicorns or stack building blocks. Nothing has a worse impact than unfulfilled promises. American child psychologists found that children of distant parents often have emotional difficulties later, can marginalize themselves socially, or even develop anxiety disorders.
What influence does the father-child relationship have on the later partnership?
Another research from 2007, mentioned in the Columbia University report, found that the relationships we enter into adulthood are very much influenced by what our own father-child relationship was like in childhood. If, as a father, you treat your daughter or son very lovingly, for example, this will have a lasting impact on your child.
Our child saves this good feeling of security in the subconscious and, as an adult, will also treat the partner very lovingly. However, if we behave very coolly or aggressively towards our children, this will also affect their relationships and may lead to their inability to develop healthy and stable relationships.
Originally posted on Medium