In my previous post, I briefly mentioned the perspective of having myself been a child regarding parenting. A perspective I think is not thought of by many. But if you think about it, is it not one of the first places you’d go to when considering becoming a parent? To ask yourself what your own childhood was like. What you liked about, what you disliked about it. What would you have done differently? What would you have done better?
My childhood was not the best. It was not the most horrible, but it was bad. Verbal abuse and emotional distance was the two things that dominated our household. Around the age of 7-9, I retreated into the world of video games, the reality of instant gratification. And I remained there for most of my childhood. Because for me, the outside world did not have much to offer.
It is through this realization, that I myself had it bad, that I can start to think about how I can learn from my own childhood. In a weird way, having had a bad upbringing has given me the opportunity to look at what my parents did, and then do the opposite. My mother was verbally abusive and screaming frequently, and I really hated that. How will I behave with my own children in light of this? I will have a calm, low voice. Instead of being abusive, I will listen as much as I can, ask as many questions as I can. Actively seek to do better as a father.
Can you see how powerful this perspective can be?
As mentioned in my last post, parenting is for the child, not the parent. You are supposed to serve the needs of the child. And to do that, you must have the ability to empathize with your child. You must ask your child questions, all the time. What does your child want? What does your child like? What does your child dislike?
Just imagine, when you were a child. Did you not want your parents to ask these kinds of questions? Ask what you like, what you dream about, what you dislike? To have your caregivers seeking to get to know YOU as a human being. Not just having you around as a toy, or a garbage-bag.
It is one of the reasons I’d like to become a parent. To give someone the things I so desperately wanted myself. To help create a new person, and give them the very best tools, to not only survive, but thrive and enjoy our fickle but beautiful existence.
So if you are becoming a parent, or thinking of becoming one, ask yourself this… ”What kind of parent would I have liked to have?”
Thanks for reading.