‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men’
– Frederick Douglass
Being a parent brings love, joy, tenderness, meaning, pride and personal growth. However, it can also be frustrating, daunting and often scary.
Understanding the role of emotions and being aware of our own emotions create deeper connect with others. When parents speak about emotions, they teach their children empathy; a skill they will need to nurture deep and meaningful relationships during their whole life.
Communication is at the heart of parent/children relationships.
In their book ‘Parenting from the Inside Out’ Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Harzell write about the importance of listening empathically as a vital part of parenting as ‘caring communication supports the development of a healthy attachment that is especially important in building a trusting parent-child relationship. Studies performed across many culture suggests that a common element in healthy attachments is the ability of the parent and child to have a reciprocal give-and-take of signals. ’
Secure v insecure attachments
A child needs to grow feeling loved, understood and safe. Attachment experiences are central to the development of a child.
They will have an impact on their personal, social and professional life. They will have an impact on how they choose their partner and how they raise their own children.
The good news is that attachment can change as the child grow and it’s never too late to create secure attachment in a child’s life.
When children are not feeling loved, secured and understood, insecure attachments of avoidance, anxious/ambivalent and disorganised are created.
When the nature and value of attachment are understood, situations can be addressed and corrected.
A deep understanding of oneself helps us understand our own behaviour with our children.
When I see couples for therapy, they often talk about the fights they are having about the way they each have ways and ideas about raising children. They talk about having different ways of thinking; they talk about their values being different. They also talk about being ‘triggered’ by their children. They are triggered, not only by their teenage children who are more apt at expressing their opinions and may rebel against their parents’ authoritative demands. They are also triggered by their younger children.
Making sense of one’s life helps understand our functioning. Even though we can’t change the events of our life, self-understanding helps us choose our present behaviour. When we become aware and more understanding of who we are, what are emotions are, we enjoy the challenges and opportunities for growth that raising children bring.
I have also raised 3 children in the UAE, so I’m familiar with the life of expatriate children. I’m also an Academic Life Coach and conduct Leadership Training Programme and Wellbeing Workshops for school and high school students.
For more information, you can contact me, give me call me on +971 55 732 99 66 or send me an email to email@example.com and we can discuss your situation.