Looking at my knee, I see lots of scars and memories from childhood. Scars from the time I was run over by my brother’s bike, and the other time I thought I can defy gravity and life surprised me that I couldn’t. Now I am learning some magic makeup hacks to hide these scars and others I have all over my body, but it takes a lot of therapy, work, and recovery to get over the other scars; those that are not physical. The words and beliefs that create who we are, how we carry ourselves and how we live.
As a parenting coach, let me take you on a ride through a few of the scars that I see parents inflicting every single day around me:
We are in a very competitive era of who has what? Who did better? Who graduated with honors? And the examples are endless. We are still in a constant virtual fight in our workplace, among friends and on Social Media. Where did all this start? In our childhood! When we had to do better than our cousins to impress our parents and be more polite than our neighbors’ kids to get their praise; when we learned early on in life that we are only good, only worthy, when we are better, bigger, richer, or prettier than. Let’s stop comparing.
“Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice, and boys are snips and snails and puppy dog tails.” Well, the song is okay, but the actions and beliefs aren’t! Girls are asked to balance a career and a home, but guys are expected to manage a career and count on women to manage their homes. Te most awaited day for a girl is her wedding day and if it didn’t happen, then she isn’t living and she is pitied. Let’s not categorize and label behaviors as girlish and boyish.
Aggressive punishments and loads of blame come your way if you did something wrong. Criticizing is part of our culture, and it isn’t unusual to be labeled a failure or ugly by parents. Te effect this leaves is a long-lasting lack of confidence, a high sense of guilt, inability to find satisfaction, and the constant criticism of others. Let’s not punish harshly.
“Big boys don’t cry.” This is wrong in so many ways. Starting with the fact that little kids are not big boys in the first place nor should they be. In addition to the fact that emotional expression is the best thing that we can do as kids, and it is something we need as we grow, but highly lack due to all of the negative connotations surrounding it. We grow to measure how strong a person is by how much they can tolerate without complaining or being tired, which is the definition of sickness. Let’s not ask them to suppress their emotions.