The biggest agenda among Millennials and Gen Zs today is the need to break the generational curse. The cycle of bad parenting ends with our generation. We now enter the world of parenting with newer and more appropriate styles fit for our children. The intention is good and refreshing, but the task at hand is not at all a walk in the park.
Many of our generation’s parents today fear turning into their parents once they start having kids. And, for some, that has already been the case. Or for some, the case is the opposite.
Because their parents were super hard on them, they end up becoming too loose on their kids. They still don’t get the respect they feel they deserve after using such a style, ergo the ongoing passing of the generational curse.
In this article, we are going to talk about the reasons why breaking the generational curse is not as easy as it looks. We are also going to dive into different parenting strategies to help you discover the style that works for you and your children. So, if you want to learn more about that and more, keep on reading.
So You’re Turning into Your Mother
One of our worst fears as Millennial parents is to one day turn into our own mothers. Well, some of us. We are very familiar with the emotional trauma that our parents have left because of their parenting mistakes. And, so we don’t want to subject our own kids to the same experience.
But, why does this happen? It happens because the only kind of parenting you were mostly exposed to were your parents’ way. So, in a way, you are subconsciously copying their style because it’s the only one you know.
This is the generational curse we have to, unfortunately, deal with. You don’t grow up under a certain parenting style, develop trauma from your parents after that, and then suddenly figure out the correct kind of style to use on your kids. It’s an unlearning-to-learn-more kind of experience. So, you have to give yourself some time to move out of that cycle.
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If the fact that you’re turning into your mother is irking you, find pride in the fact that you were able to recognise it. Your parents never did. And if they did, it was too late. You, however, discovered it very early in your parenting journey. Because of that, there is plenty of room to adjust. You have time to break the generational curse.
As for your parents, experts advise that you simply forgive them. They didn’t know that they were inheriting a generational curse and passing it on to you. So, even if it’s so easy to just blame them for your trauma, it can’t hurt to also think in their shoes.
In their minds, they did what they had to do. And, so the only thing to do now, since you are now the parent, is you’re going to do better.
Breaking the Generational Curse Doesn’t Always Mean Doing the Opposite of What Your Parents Did
Now onto breaking that generational curse. Many parents today think just doing the opposite of what their parents did is the key. But, that isn’t actually true in all cases.
For instance, if your parent had a habit of saying “no” to your requests, it’s easy to think that you only need to say “yes” to your child to break that curse.
Not only is this route possibly ignoring the needs of your child, but you are also at risk of giving your child unrealistic expectations of the world. They will be devastated to find out that they can’t have everything they want once they become a part of it. So, how do you strike that balance?
The first step is to take care of your own trauma from your parents’ parenting. It’s like what the flight crew always says: put on your mask before putting on your child’s. Why is this necessary? Because it’s hard not to think of your trauma when you are parenting yourself. You are going to have moments of reflection in this journey, asking questions such as:
Did I have the same relationship with my parents like my child has with me when I was their age?
Am I worried that history might repeat itself and my child experiences the bad things I experienced?
Would I become envious if my child doesn’t experience the same trauma as I did?
Am I too conscious of how alike I am with my parents when they parented me?
What were the emotions that I was not allowed to feel during my childhood?
These are only some of the questions you might ask. And, without any guidance about how to deal with these questions, your issues might never get resolved. And, unresolved issues are the reason why your parents passed on their generational curse to you. Don’t let that happen. Get some help – talk to a counsellor or a therapist to help you find out ways to manage your trauma.
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Adjust your style to their needs
When you’ve finished resolving your own issues, you can focus more on your child/children. And the first thing you ought to do is to identify their needs. It’s not simply just saying the opposite of what you’re parents said. It’s stopping and listening to what your child is asking from you.
Say they want you to play with them. When you were a child, your parents would have said “no” and let you play by yourself. Simply saying yes to that and giving them a toy might not necessarily address your child’s needs. So, how do you address this issue?
First, wonder why they want to play with you in the first place. Why did you want your parents to play with you when you were that age? You wanted attention. So, that may be what your child needs – your attention. So, it’s not enough to just give them a toy. You also give them your attention.
There is No One Way to Parent
With the way everything has advanced in our world today, there is a myriad of parenting styles you can try. And, you don’t have to stick to one. Sometimes, it’s a trial and error thing until you’ve figured out what works for you. In this article, we will discuss the most common parenting styles today:
Another word for this style is taking full control of your child. So, all of the rules you make are yours. You have consequences for your child, should they go against such rules. And, when your child asks why they have to follow those rules, your constant justification is: “Because I said so.”
This style is the opposite of the authoritarian method. If that is parent-led, this one is child-led. So, whatever your child needs and asks, you give. And, because kids hate rules, permissive parents rarely have them.
This is the middle ground for authoritarian and permissive parents. They process what their children need and encourage open and honest communication to set clear expectations. So, rule-making is a two-way street for authoritative parents. They factor in their children’s needs as they craft these rules.
You can clearly tell from this list that the winner and the most recommended style by experts is the authoritative style. Give it a try, and maybe you’ll succeed in breaking that generational curse.
Again, you don’t have to stick to one style if it’s not working. Trying them all out and figuring out what is best for you and your child is still the priority. And here’s a toast to ending generational curses.
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