Now that I’m a parent, I can’t help but look back at the way I was raised. I’ll admit, there was a stage in my life where I found myself judging my parents for some of the parenting choices they made. But I know that they did the best they could.
The way that I was raised will ultimately affect the way that I parent. I don’t want to parent on autopilot, so it was vital for me to actively unlearn any toxic parenting habits that I was conditioned to believe are correct. Here are some parenting habits I’ve had to unlearn.
Don’t compare, ever!
My mom used to compare us with our cousins, her friend’s kids and each other as siblings. I think it was her way to set positive role models and encourage us to make better choices. But it didn’t work. Instead, I ended up doubting myself and it dented my self-confidence. It’s good to set positive role models for your child, but always comparing them with someone, especially a sibling or the child next door will do more damage than good.
Money doesn’t grow on trees! Money is the root of all evil! Those are some of the limiting beliefs that made up my money mindset up until recently. Here’s the thing, the way we as parents speak about money impacts our children’s money mindset. Instead of telling my son that I do not have the money to buy him Yeezy’s, I would rather teach him to save so he can buy himself a pair. I don’t want my kids to think in terms of limits. Instead, when there’s something they want or need, they should think about how they can earn more money. Being open to creating more wealth is key.
It is our responsibility as parents to demonstrate how one should manage their emotions. If we cannot control our feelings, we can’t expect our little people to do so. When I speak about managing emotions, I’m mainly referring to snapping or shouting at our kids or in their presence.
I had never had a difficult one on one conversation with my father up until a year ago. Things would happen, and they were never discussed. They were literally swept under the carpet, and the show would go on. These difficult conversations are instrumental in shaping our children’s lives. Not only that, but they also strengthen our relationships with our kids.
I’ve spoken extensively about spanking in the past. Just like everyone else, I used to get spanked as a kid. And when I had my first child, I spanked him until I realised that I was parenting on autopilot. I would feel incredibly guilty every time I laid my hands on him. Hurting people isn’t in my nature, I knew I had to end that cycle of parenting. I was commited to find healthier ways to discipline my kids. I believe respect grows from love, not fear and pain.
We don’t have to parent the like our parents. We must decide which parenting habits we choose to unlearn and which to keep. What are some of the parenting habits that you want to unlearn?
Photograophy by Elsie B Photography