You all must have heard this from your parents at least once in your life: “You don’t know how hard time was back in our childhood.” And I could not agree more. Why is that so? Let’s look into it.
You must have heard about the Megan-Harry interview with Oprah. It was riddled with controversies and revelations that created ripples not just in the royal family but also in the lives of ordinary people. We all felt bad for Meghan, but one thing that went unnoticed was Oprah and Prince Harry’s conversation. He told Oprah how he dealt with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Then he shared how he and his brother were supported by Prince Charles on Princess Diana’s death, but soon after the tragedy, Prince Charles’ lack of attention was what derailed him.
This incident must remind you of the parents from the 40s and 50s who used to see their children but did not hear them. The children were never made a part of any serious conversations. This attitude forced the children to overthink and eventually blame themselves for any mishaps. If we compare that to now, parents these days are more likely to listen to you. They give proper attention to their children if needed and, most importantly, tell you the whole story.
There are many mistakes a parent can make while bringing up a child. So let’s see what a parent is supposed to do to make sure the child doesn’t grow up with a scarred soul.
Listening to Your Child Is Important
Empathizing and listening to your child can create more impact than regular family meals. Being there for your child and listening to them can help them deal with any trauma they are dealing with. Also, you can help them in ways no one can by sharing your experiences. Sitting down with your child and just talking about unpleasant events can also prepare them for the future.
Understand Why Your Child Is Shutting You Out
Ever wonder why your teenage child is shutting you out? Why is he always on his phone when around you? It is not because he is a millennial child or because he has the gadgets. It is because you, as a parent, are not enough for him. If he is telling you something, you should listen to him as a parent and help him, instead of getting angry or invalidating the topic.
Overestimating or Underestimating Their Problems
When your child tells you about an issue they are going through, your first reaction should not be a sigh or a gasp. The right way to deal with a problem is to see and analyze whether it is a relevant one. After that, if it is a potent problem, try to understand how big of a problem it is. Then if you think it is the one that requires your attention, you better jump in at the right time. Tell your child that you’re there for them.
Is Fighting Back the Right Option?
A physical fight is not what we’re talking about here. It’s the arguing, getting mad, yelling, and repeating yourself repeatedly until your child starts getting frustrated that acts as a catalyst in disturbing your child. Rather than fighting and trying to prove your point, you can both take a time-out and then sit later when the heat of the moment has evaporated. This will help you and your child sort things out in a civil way. Jennifer Jane Sheriff, a writer, talks about the same issue in her marvellous book ‘Seen and Not Heard.’ In this autobiographical book, she has taken pieces from her memories and woven them together in one coherent narrative. Born in the 1940s, Jennifer writes about how life back then was so very different from today and why traditional values were strictly upheld. These strict values often developed anxiety and self-doubt tendencies in children as they did not understand family tragedies and were too afraid to ask. Thankfully, in modern times, parents have let go of these values and now offer their children consolation and more time to understand them and create a friendly relationship with them.