When parenting my son, I never considered the importance of the way I myself was brought up by my own parents and how it might be influencing how I treat him – even if unconsciously. A great article and a useful questionnaire for people like me aka parents.
Our own life experience is our greatest parenting resource. In my book, Raising Children That Other People Like to be Around”, I suggest that parenting is like driving a cab: if you don’t at least ACT like you know the way, your passengers (children) are going to be nervous and uncomfortable as you would be with a rookie cab driver.
But how can new parents proceed with confidence? By looking backward at the way they themselves were parented.
All of us are influenced by what Selma Frieberg, author of The Magic Years, called the “Ghosts in our Nursery” – essentially, the voices of those who raised us. Learning to recognize how our parents influenced us may be the most effective way of preparing for the job ahead. What did your parents do that you remember most positively? Were there hugs at night? Surprise trips to the ice cream…
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