HEALTHY PARENTING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN
Children learn from their parents, how to be in this world, in three ways:
1. By how their parents treat them
2. By how their parents treat others
3. By how their parents treat themselves
Many parents are smart enough to know that if they scream at their children, call them names (i.e., stupid, dumb, brat, etc.), hit them, or otherwise shame them, this behavior will negatively impact their child and is likely to cause long-term problems. As a result, many parents work hard to not do any of the above behaviors–to their child.
They often forget, however, to not do these behaviors toward others.
Our children learn by what they see. Treating our children respectfully is only one component of what they see. They also watch how we treat our partners, our friends, the grocery store clerk, the neighbor, etc. And, they watch how we treat ourselves.
If I speak to my husband with contempt, I teach our children contempt. If my husband and I yell at each other, call each other names, and don’t respect each other–we teach our children disrespect. If I sit in judgment of others, look down at them, and make fun of them, I teach my children arrogance and disdain.
Likewise, if I call myself fat, stupid, lazy, etc., I teach our children to have contempt for themselves. If I don’t take care of myself, hate myself, and allow others to treat me poorly, well, I teach my children to do the same.
It’s not enough that we protect our children from our direct wrath…we also need to protect them from the wrath we spew out towards others and ourselves. If we truly want to raise children with a healthy core, we need to model a healthy core ourselves.
Changing Me, Changes We. As we parents get stronger and healthier, so will our children.
If you have a message you want your children to internalize: Speak it, Believe it, Live it…with them, others, and yourself.
Challenge: Become the adult you want to teach your children to be. Choose the area you need to clean up the most (How you treat your children, how you treat others, or how you treat yourself) and start cleaning it up!