It’s common for adults to only realize that they were brought up in an unhealthy or even toxic household until years later when they have become parents themselves. Most of the time, these new parents will follow in the footsteps of their parents because they don’t see anything wrong with it how they were raised.
However, an outsider’s perspective could be what it takes to shed light on the fact that the parenting style that they have come to know is not the right way to parent at all. This is because generations of parents have only done what their parents did without so much as asking why they did.
But by learning to identify the typical characteristics of an unhealthy or toxic household, it will be easier for you to be warier when you become a parent yourself. Unlearning these traits could be the very change you need to break the cycle that has been passed on from generation to generation.
With this in mind, you can raise your children in a more loving household; one that’s filled with the kind of warmth and encouragement that they need to survive in a ruthlessly cold world. By acknowledging the fact that there are better and kinder ways to parent, you can raise more empathetic people.
Give Your Kids the Space to Discover the World Firsthand
Many parents are overprotective of their children because they don’t want them to be exposed to situations that can endanger or traumatize them. This is only right considering that it’s the parents’ job to keep their kids safe from harm and protect their innocence for as long as they can.
However, at some point, you will have to let them go and discover the world on their own. They need to witness these situations so that they would know how to avoid or confront them without sacrificing their safety. But what you can do is be there to provide refuge if things ever become too overwhelming.
Seeing the world without rose-colored glasses is important because it prepares your children for what they may face in the future, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them fend for themselves. While you’re still there to provide them comfort, give them everything they need to cope with the realities of life.
Learn How to Control Your Emotions and Reactions
Parenthood isn’t always warm hugs and big smiles; sometimes, it is uncontrollable outbursts and blinding rage. But that’s because your children are autonomous human beings with minds of their own. You can’t expect them to understand what you want to happen and stay disciplined all the time.
As the adult in the equation, you have to be the bigger person and try to understand your children’s conflicting emotions, which means you have to control your own too. It’s easy to project your anger and frustrations onto your kids if you’re not careful, but they don’t deserve to be your emotional punching bags.
Just like you’re learning how to create a more loving and safer environment at home, you have to learn how to better express your emotions to your children. For instance, if you experience recurring pain from an accident that they unintentionally caused, you shouldn’t take that against them because they might not have known any better.
What you can do is to seek pain management and treatment for yourself to address your situation, and then think of ways to discipline your kids in a way that won’t compromise their well-being. Physical pain can be treated over time, but deeply-seated emotional trauma can be hard to uproot. So always think twice about how you react.
Provide Your Children with the Guidance They Need
You have to give your children more credit because it’s what they deserve. Even if you don’t think that they have enough experience under their belts to make their own decisions, that doesn’t mean that you should make all their decisions for them. If you did, they would never have the chance to learn.
Instead of calling all the shots in the house and expecting your children to follow with no questions asked, encourage them to speak up. As the parent, you should initiate the conversations and give them enough chances to decide for themselves, but always be ready to guide them along the way.
Through this, your children can learn the ways of the world without being pushed into the deep end. You may not have the same amount of support and guidance from your own parents as you were growing up, but that doesn’t mean that your kids need to experience the same fate.
Remember that progress is key to raising kinder children, which is what the world needs right now. It’s understandable if you’re finding it hard to unlearn the traditions you’ve grown accustomed to, but there’s no harm in keeping your mind wide open. Who knows? It just might be what you need to become a better parent for your children.