Rabat – Parenting is the hardest job in the world. Raising children is a difficult equation that requires parents’ full presence and guidance, and at the same time needs them to know exactly when to turn over the reins and let their children be, to give them space. Any imbalance could lead to spoiling the children, controlling them, overprotecting them, or interfering with their need to explore and try things out for themselves.
All parents do their best to care and provide for their children. However, without love and attention, whatever parents do will never be enough. Instead, it would be an empty relationship resulting in individuals who are physically well-developed but emotionally immature.
Lots of parents do not know how to deal with their emotions, letting them spill over and affect everyone around. Some easily lose their temper with their kids, and in order to get a point across they yell and shout, curse and blame their kids, and even call them names and spank them. They tell their kids that they will never amount to anything, they never do anything right, they are so dumb, slow, lazy and that they have ruined everything for them to have a better life. If the child breaks a dish or gets mediocre grades, the parents withdraw their warmth and give them a cold look. Long story short, they impose discipline that originates from anger, and they try to correct behaviors regardless of the underlying causes of such behaviors. Indeed, such parents love their children, not fully for who they are, but more for what they do, or maybe they lack the right skill to show their kids their love.
We punish our kids for almost everything when they show anger or other negative emotion. We criticize and show them constant disapproval, adding to that the harsh and condemning words that will ring in their ears years to come in their adulthood. Children, therefore, grow up thinking that something is wrong with them. This is because at early stages, children are very susceptible to suggestions and vulnerable to opinions. They absorb their parents’ fears, whether they are about money, future, people, or something else. These fears become the filters through which kids see the world. As parents, we never know that our words are as powerful as black magic, through which we cast spells on our children that are hard to dissipate. Our words are unquestionable verdicts.
In most cases, children’s misbehavior is just a misguided search for love, affection, belonging, being wanted, and the emotional security that sometimes they crave. They create scenes, kicking and screaming and ineffectively pleading for love in the wrong manner and in all the wrong ways. Without guidance on how to deal with and channel their negative emotions, children end up suppressing these emotions and holding their disappointment inside. This way they pretend to be what they are not in order to avoid rejection and punishment, or to get approval. We manipulate our children so that they feel guilty and comply with our version and perspective of how we want them to be. They grow up feeling powerless, angry, and scared. The parents are still unfortunately playing their role compulsively, leading some children grow up with feelings of anger and resentment even towards their parents.
Emotional violence is as serious if not more than physical violence. The scars of emotional violence are deeply rooted and stored in our subconscious. If we do not stop and take a deep look at them, we will end up carrying heavy emotional garbage full of unresolved emotional issues throughout our life. We will grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, rejected, and unappreciated. We will become grown adults, but who are still stuck in childhood feelings of shyness and inadequacy.
Children need to be loved and valued for who they are. They need their parents’ undivided attention. Look into their eyes, recognize your children, value what they say, care for them, and observe each of your children separately and correct their behaviors subtly. Each child is different, and we have to stop trying to pour our children into the same mold, because it will never work. Get into the world of your child, do things with them, get down to their level and consciously choose disciplinary methods that add to their self-concept rather than diminishing them. Show him that you love them, you love how they does things and how clever they are. Hug them tenderly, trust them, and tell them how important they are to you and that you enjoy being with them. Let them grow, be their natural selves, and carve out their own lives. Do not badmouth other people in front of them and do not expose them to hours and hours of television ads and violence.
It’s totally fine if our children are not perfect and make mistakes. But do not limit them by your expectations. They should not be copycats of our beliefs or a reflection of what we consider to be perfect. Do not punish them when they do something wrong, but teach them how to do it right. Do not rescue them every time or become their doorm at or a dictator in their life; this way they will be nothing but powerless creatures. Always remember that what we show our kids is much more important than what we tell them. Let them think, let them do what feels good for them. Teach them not only to survive, but to thrive, and you will sit speechless in pride and surprise of what they can achieve, as they will eventually be wonderful parents and leaders themselves.
Our parents taught us the best they could with the understanding and knowledge they had at that time. They simply taught us what they had been taught. What else could they teach us? Take a moment to think about what your parents could have done differently, and do to your children as you wanted your parents to do to you. Decide to stop emotional violence, bring about a psychological transformation and pass on no more wounds to your children.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity.
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