more subtle than that. Being emotionally unavailable, withholding, emotionally manipulative or even overbearing and overprotective are just a few of the more subtle ways that repetitive damage can be done.
The point is that in order to mitigate the chances of passing down trauma to our children, we must do our own personal work as parents. Whether it’s with a therapist or a trauma-informed transformational coach, if you want to break the cycles of trauma, it must begin with you.
3. Understanding that respect is not unilateral. It goes both ways.
If you are an X-generation parent or earlier, you probably recognize the saying “Do as I say, not as I do”, or “It’s my way or the highway”, and even “speak when you are spoken to”. These are anthems of old-school parenting.
However, you might notice that in this style of parenting, respect only goes in one direction. One of the things I remember from my upbringing is how my mother never apologized to me even when she was clearly harmful in her speaking or behavior toward me and my sisters (and especially if there was a misunderstanding).
The truth is, respect should be bidirectional in the parent-child relationship. Yes, I believe that children should have respect for their parents. However, if we are constantly not showing them respect, how do we expect them to learn what respect looks like? Simple things like “please”, “thank you”, and “I apologize” (or even “I was wrong”) are a great start to creating a respectful relationship with your child. It helps when setting firm boundaries about what treatment is acceptable behavior to be able to model them as a parent for your child.
These are just a few thought patterns that if we began to shift would significantly impact the way you approach your child. While parenting by itself is challenging, it can be especially challenging if you are on the conscious parenting or positive parenting journey. Understanding these three principles is the beginning of a new way of thinking about interacting with your child. It’s time we upgrade our conversations and break old cycles of parenting and stop generational cycles of trauma in our families.
Dr. Maiysha Clairborne is an integrative physician and founder of the Mind ReMapping Academy. She teaches trauma informed tools for conscious communication, emotional intelligence, and healing generational trauma. To learn more about Dr. Clairborne, visit www.mindremappingacademy.com