When you were growing up and your parents said or did something you didn’t like, remember how it made you feel.
Dress this way, not that way; don’t do that; stand up straight; shake it off; have thicker skin. Reinforcements, negative or positive, were shaping you as a person.
Maybe you wondered why they were the way they are. Where did they learn their behavior from?
You tell yourself, “when I have kids, I am not going to be like them.”
Fast forward a few years, you see and hear some of your actions are IDENTICAL to your parents.
Reality kicks in. How did I get here? I’m exactly the way I said I wouldn’t be.
BUT that’s ok.
Why? Because you’re human.
And let’s face it, kids do not come with manuals!
So what can you do?
First, know you’re not alone.
Second, try and break the cycle.
How Do You Break A Parenting Cycle?
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. Emulating a happy childhood is something that many parents try to do to give them the same memories.
But if you were raised in a negative environment, the last thing you want to do is to repeat it.
In order to try and break this type of parenting cycle, you need to acknowledge it before you can correct it.
There are several steps you can take to help break the cycle:
Acknowledge that a change needs to be made in your parenting choices. Just because it feels like the right thing to do, doesn’t make it right.
- Reshape your way of thinking to allow for new types of parenting practices.
- Set boundaries to maintain your new choices.
- Use positive language to help reinforce your child to better behavior.
- Forgive yourself and your parents for past mistakes. You cannot go back in time but you can start new from where you are.
In a recent podcast interview with Dax Shephard’s, The Duke of Sussex said, “after realizing that much of the way he was treated as a youngster was the result of how his own dad was raised by Queen Elizabeth II and the late Prince Philip, he now wants to “break the cycle” within his family.”
He continues on saying “So we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say, ‘You know what? That happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you’.”
The Duke acknowledged that his childhood created unhealthy relationships that were passed down through generations. This uneasiness weighed on his mental health that led him down a destructive path, desperately looking for a way out. By reshaping his way of thinking, he has now redirected and created a life towards positive change for his children.
Inspirational and a testimony to how your past doesn’t define your future.
A person’s behavior is not written in stone, even if it was passed down from generation to generation. It can be changed.
By taking positive steps you can create a healthy, stable environment for your children to thrive physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. Be the change you want to see, create a new path!