The Two Styles Of Parenting

As a father of 3, I can attest to the fact parenting is often hard, confusing, and overwhelming.

One of the biggest obstacles to good parenting is the example of bad parenting we’ve personally experienced.

We often mimic the words (coupled with facial expressions and speaking tone), strategies (for rewards and punishments), and the behaviors of our parents, even if we don’t approve of their parenting style… and have the psychological scars to prove it.

And speaking of psychological scars: not all parents know about or acknowledge these scars. They believe their mood swings and frustrations are personality quirks. Their fears are personal inhibitions.

Parenting plays a key role in shaping your views (about the world and yourself), your values, your temperament, and your personality.

Good parenting cultivates a positive mindset, emotional resilience, and ethical conduct. It helps nurture children into adults who are comfortable being who they are and continue to take care of themselves through their adulthood.

Bad parenting fosters a negative (and destructive) mindset, emotional turmoil, and aggressive behaviors to varying degrees, based on the extent of how bad the parenting was and the damage it inflicted. It leads to adults who live out their lives with judgmental self-talk that echoes the words of their parents, and often sabotage their own happiness and well-being as a result.

Bad parenting isn’t done by (intentionally) bad parents.

I don’t intend to judge parents on being good or bad people. Judging people leads to defensiveness, especially when their intentions were good and sincere. But we need to recognize bad parenting styles to avoid the damage it causes to children, their children, and the future societies they breed.

It’s important to recognize that there are two— and only two — parenting styles you can adopt:

1) “This is how I was raised”
2) “This is how I should’ve been raised”

By recognizing that you don’t need to follow in the footsteps of your parents with each and every step they took (Style 1), you can open yourself to the possibility of being a good parent, despite the bad parenting you experienced (Style 2).

Your parents set an example for you. It’s your choice what example you will set for your children.
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