Our parents have a lasting influence on our lives. After all, we look to them to learn how to navigate life and behave in society during our formative years. While we are young and impressionable, how and what our parents teach us can have long-lasting repercussions.
The unfortunate side of this is that parenting is a skill that a lot of people haven’t been able to master, and you are forced to deal with the aftermath of improper parenting.
If ignored, the fallout can stay with you for a lifetime, and you are likely to repeat the mistakes of your parents, which can take many forms and may include:
- Physical, sexual, and verbal abuse
- Physical and emotional neglect
- Favoriting one sibling over all others
- Being overprotective (helicopter parenting)
- Indulgent (not being able to say no)
- Lack of discipline
Most of us will use our parents’ parenting habits as a guide for our own. For this reason, we must discover the means to heal our wounds and escape the cycle. In turn, we will teach our children better parenting skills for future generations.
How do we find healing from improper parenting and make ourselves happier, well-adjusted members of society so we can create better parents for a brighter future?
Unfortunately, when you are the victim of bad parenting, time does not heal all wounds. You may need to take a more proactive approach towards healing rather than sitting it out and hoping you’ll feel better if you can wait it out for a few years.
There will still be a part of you that reacts to situations as a child would. However, there are steps you can take, which should help heal your damaged inner child:
Talk about your childhood – There are support groups where you can share your story and, in the process, offload a lot of the grief to understanding individuals who know firsthand what you have experienced.
Learn forgiveness – When you begin to understand that bad parenting is a cycle, you will eventually reach a place where you can forgive your parents for their improper parenting. You should also learn to forgive yourself for the bad choices you have made in the past for the same reasons. When you find yourself full of regrets, examine them carefully, and use them as a learning tool for changing your future behaviors.
Embrace your second chance to grow up the right way – In some ways, breaking the cycle of improper parenting is a lot like growing up all over again. However, this time, you will do it right and give yourself what you feel you have lacked all these years.
Develop new strategies – Learning proper parenting skills is a process where you fix your broken pieces and add in the missing bits. It’s more about becoming a complete, well-adjusted person, as well as learning the correct responses to situations. You will need to take sensible risks to build your emotional confidence and self-esteem.
Discover and discard emotional and mental blocks – You can root out mental and emotional blocks through therapy or journaling. The most crucial part is that you continue to probe through the issues developed during childhood and learn to process them, so they no longer create an obstacle to the life you want to live.
Stop playing the blame game – At some point, you are going to have to take responsibility for your actions. You may not have had control during much of your childhood, but it’s a different story now you are an adult. Learn how to work through the traumatic feelings of the past so you can make better choices.
Be accepting of the recovery process – Regardless of the strategies you choose for your recovery, be aware that it’s not an overnight process. It will take time and effort, so make sure you are patient with yourself and cut yourself some slack on occasion.
It can be very challenging to be a good parent when your own early experiences hamper your efforts. Take heart in the fact that you can break the cycle, and you can become a better parent and a well-adjusted human being as well.
If you feel that your childhood was challenging and that you have lingering issues as a result, trauma treatment can help you heal. By healing the past, you can create a happier life for you and your family.
To learn more about counseling to heal your past click here: Trauma Treatment