Do you remember what it was like to be a child? You may think you have forgotten much of your childhood. You may believe you are making parenting decisions based on your own original ideas on how your children should be raised. However, everyone has been preparing for parenting without knowing it. The major childhood influences from your life growing up will affect your parenting style with your own kids.
What is Your Parenting Style?
Without a doubt, the way in which you were raised will influence how you choose to raise your children, whether or not it is intentional. You have your own values, morals, and opinions about how your children should be raised. But your upbringing could present some biases that are invisible to you. This may influence your parenting style.
Just as we all have our own unique history that shapes how we interact with people, the same is true for the life of parenting.
Expectations on Development and Milestones
Every child develops at a different rate and reaches milestones in their development when they are ready. Sometimes parents have certain expectations on what they think their child should be able to do at a certain age by a certain time based on their own personal development as a child.
For example, a parent might believe their child should be able to walk and talk by the same age they did. These milestones can easily become the barometer for how you judge your child’s development. They may not meet the milestones you expected. It’s important to recognize that each child is different. They will develop at their own rate. Removing this expectation can help you avoid disappointment and frustration for your child.
The Spectrum of Displaying Emotions
Children witness a varying display of emotions from their parents. This can differ from family to family.
For example, you may have been raised by parents who did not cry in front of their children. Now as a parent you do not cry in front of your child. However, the opposite might be true if your parents were very emotionally open with you and had no problem crying or expressing their feelings.
Another example, your parents may have argued or yelled at each other all the time. This was very sad and confusing for you to witness as a child. You decided you would never do this in front of your own kids one day. Now as a parent, you never argue in front of your kids and keep all your frustrations and anger inside. That isn’t healthy for you and your children think everything in your life is perfect when it isn’t. There needs to be a happy medium.
Emotional expression is a spectrum that goes from the extremes of no emotional expression to the other extreme of expressing all emotion and experiences. Everyone falls somewhere in between.
Personal Values Instilled From Your Childhood to Theirs
Every parent has their own set of values that they slowly instill in their children as they grow up. These values help to shape a child’s life and how they view the world.
For example, you may have grown up under parents who stressed the importance of a strong work ethic and saving money to reach financial goals. Because of this, your parents had you get a job when you turned 16. Then they had you open a savings account for college. If this was a positive experience for you, then you may do the same with your children. However, if this was a negative experience for you and you either found it difficult to find a job or if saving money for college was too hard, then you may avoid these same situations with your kids. Values are important to instill in your children. But it is also your job to make sure they are feasible for your child and their unique needs.
As you can see, your childhood and the way you were raised have a big impact on how you choose to parent your child. We are constantly shaping our children’s lives from our upbringing, whether we know it or not. By better understanding these connections and influences from our childhood, your parenting decisions can remove bias and develop a better understanding of their own personal values. Check out this article for more about 4 different parenting styles.