How you are as a parent does play a very important role in forming the personality of your child as s/he goes into adulthood.
All parents have their own style of parenting - their way of bringing up their children. According to Bela Raja, child guidance counselor, one’s parenting style, if negative, can have an adverse effect on the psyche of the child even to the point of causing damage. “A good style of parenting is one where parents respect the needs and emotions of their child as much as the child respects the parents. It’s also important for parents to encourage the development of the child’s self-esteem. They need to teach him/her to feel good about themselves. Moreover, no matter how silly or insignificant it may seem, a child’s concerns have to be addressed, even if it’s just the fear of entering a room alone,” she says.
Bela adds that since the child’s first social interaction is with the parents, the style of interaction used here will have a significant bearing on the child as a grownup. TV anchor Mini Mathur, mother of seven-year-old Vivaan opines that she is a moderate parent. “I guard against being over protective so that he learns to fight his own battles. For now I am playing the role of a guide, protector in the hope that he learns to be independent and take his own decisions as an adult,” she explains. And though at times she does get ‘extremely over-indulgent’, she is also the disciplinarian in the family.
“Kabir is the indulgent, knowledge imparting, fun type of parent, so the task of balancing things out and keeping Vivaan in check is left to me. Thankfully he’s growing up to be a well balanced, sensitive and grounded kid, so I guess I’m doing something right somewhere,” she says.
If you’re worried that your college going kid is splurging too much on clothes or shoes, this behaviour could be the result of you saying no to them every time as kids or if your child hesitates to take any decision on his own, it could be the result of you being an over-protective or dominating parent in their younger days or if people complain that your child is overly arrogant and rude, it could be because you did not correct these faults in his/her childhood itself.
Here are some parenting styles and what the potential outcome could be like:
Over-protective parents: Leads to clingy adults
A child growing under overprotective parents faces severe detachment problems as an adult. If you don’t let him/her face life in all its shades, they will grow up to be excessively dependent, weak and seek help for trivial matters.
TIP: Such behaviour can restrict your child’s emotional intelligence. Give them an opportunity to explore the world without constant interference.
Suspicious parents: Leads to lying, distrustful adults
It’s okay to keep a check on your child, but overdoing it can hamper their trust instinct. The child will then panic at the sight of your call or message. To save face, they may even resort to lying. Over suspicious parents envision fear by putting this fear in their child, they raise suspicious adults with low confidence.
TIP: If you have an excessive urge to check on your kids, have a frank talk with them and look for a solution. For instance, they can call you every time they reach their friend’s house, instead of the other way round.
Absusive parents: Leads to an extreme personality
It’s all right to point out your child’s mistakes, but use of emotional or physical violence can scar them for life. Abusive parents permanently damage their child’s cognitive development leading to low self-esteem and confidence. Such children grow up to be extreme personalities - a total rebel or a doormat.
TIP: Identify the first signs of losing your temper.
See if it’s the way your child talks or their mistakes that annoys you. Take precautions at this very stage.
Pushy parents: Leads to suicidal adults
Pushy parents who want their kids to be winners all the time put kids under extreme pressure leading to nervous breakdowns or even suicidal tendencies. Such parents find it hard to digest failure and they crush the child’s personality. Even as an adult, such kids strive to conform to others expectations, which, when unfulfilled, will create a feeling of worthlessness.
TIP: Share positive feelings with your children. Encourage kids even if they don’t win a competition.
Comparing parents: Leads to a show off
Parents, who don’t empathise with their child are quick to deform their child’s personality. This leads to adults who harbour excessive feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem and self-pity.
TIP: Even if you disagree with your child, use positivity. Avoid comparing siblings and phrases that hurt.
Passive parents: Leads to arrogant adults
Parents, who don’t participate in their child’s activities or those who feel too sorry for being hard on their child, turn them into difficult adults. Such parents are often unable to say ‘no’ and the child grows up to be an overconfident person, who cannot accept mistake or accept criticism positively.
TIP: Spend quality time with your kids. Do things together, such as painting, story telling, going to the park, etc. In case they make a mistake, point it out gently. Do not give in to your child’s whining, crying or temper tantrum, as it only reinforces the behaviour.
(Inputs by Rachel Fernandes)
This article was originally published in The Times of India
Image Source: Shutterstock
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