How Bad Parenting Can Be Passed Down To Your Kids
As if we needed one more reason to stress out about being parents, it turns out that doing a bad job as a parent can actually be hereditary.
Unfortunately, studies have found that harmful parenting measures such as yelling, neglect, and even child abuse can be passed down from generation to generation. And although it's now been proven that spanking is not only harmful to children but that it doesn't even work (it actually makes kids act worse, go figure), people are still spanking their kiddos.
Just to be clear, we're not talking about spanking as a full-on beating of kids, we're talking about small swats on the butt, etc., — even those seemingly “small” actions can be harmful. Even more troublesome is the fact that as a parent you're more likely to spank your children or yell at your kids if that's how your parents treated you. The research shows that the more “adverse times” you had as a child, the more your child will experience the same troublesome times by the age of five.
It's upsetting news, but it's important to recognize that abuse can occur on many different levels and if you are a parent whose parent spanked at you or yelled at you, that you may need to “unlearn” those behaviors and cope with the negative effects they had on you before dealing with your own children. The good news is is that's it's never too late.
And although sometimes it's hard to hear about what we may be doing wrong as parents, it's also a good opportunity to evaluate if we need to change any of our parenting practices. I know that in the past, I may not have considered a light swat on the butt to be a spanking that could harm my kids long-term, but now? Well, it's good information to have to help me do better in the future.
Despite the fact that as parents we come into this with our own emotional baggage and problems, it's important to keep in mind that different discipline techniques all come down to one simple fact: if you are doing your best and showing your child that you love him or her, that matters more than anything else.
So at the end of the day, show your kids that you love them and let's just all keep on doing our best. Because really, what else can you really do?