LivingToxic parenting models: how to avoid repeating them in...

Toxic parenting models: how to avoid repeating them in the education of our children?

Do you feel that the way of educating your children is not 100% “yours”? That sometimes you reproduce patterns, beliefs or actions, that actually have nothing to do with your essence?

Perhaps you are reproducing a parenting model that you experienced in your childhood, with your parents. And it is normal, this happens very frequently; What we experience as children leaves a mark on us, it has an undeniable impact.

Thus, it is normal that the way in which we were educated as children influences the way we educate our children. In the end, we are talking about very internalized patterns, which we reproduce without realizing it.

However, sometimes these parenting patterns or models turn out to be harmful to children; We talk about toxic parenting patterns . But, what is a toxic parenting model and how to identify it and change it to favor the development of our children? We talked about some guidelines that can help us.

How we built our parenting model

Although we think that we do all things consciously, and choosing freely, this is not the case. We all inherit beliefs, patterns and models from our childhood, which we reproduce to a greater or lesser extent with our children.

Thus, the way we educate is born from all this, but also from decisions that we do make consciously , from our self-concept, our identity as a father or mother, our demands, the expectations we place on our children…

The important thing is to put light on all this and begin to become aware of the factors that influence our current parenting model.

What is a toxic parenting model?

And above all, identify if this is a toxic model for our children. What would be a toxic parenting model? We found different levels or degrees (the most extreme degree: child abuse).

But we are talking above all about a model where punishments and authoritarianism prevail, which prevents them from advancing, hindering their physical and emotional development , which generates discomfort, which does not put their needs at the center, which does not respect their rhythms, which demands too much (expectations that we deposit in them), that subtracts autonomy or overprotects them, etc.

Definitely; a toxic model could be considered one that does not favor a favorable development in all spheres of the child’s life.

We can change our parenting model

Fortunately, what we “inherited” or learned from our parents, sometimes without realizing it, can be changed if we start by becoming aware of it.

We are not talking about looking for “culprits” , or reliving the past to stay there; we talk about understanding why we act the way we do and how we can change it. And above all, to find the parenting style or model that most benefits our children, and with which we feel most comfortable.

Keys to avoid repeating toxic parenting models with our children

Be aware: the line of life

Start by becoming aware of what parenting patterns your parents reproduced with you, and the impact they had on your life.

An exercise that can be useful to remember and locate experiences is the life line. It is about drawing a horizontal line on a sheet, as a chronological axis, where we will place the important things that have happened to us since we were born, but focused on the education received and parents; Above we will put the positive milestones, and below, those that have had a negative impact.

For example, “when I was 6 years old I remember that my father punished me by not being able to go to a birthday party because I hadn’t done my homework”, or “from 10 to 12 years old I remember that my mother was very demanding of me in terms of grades” .

It is about locating these experiences in a negative pole and in another positive; what impact did they have on your life? How do you remember them today? You can also write it on a piece of paper.

Recognize the patterns you repeat

Once you have identified those patterns; for example, overexertion from parents, very rigid expectations placed on you, authoritarianism, lack of affection, punishments… Try to think of those actions , the same ones you experienced, you are reproducing with your children.

In what actions do you intuit, or glimpse, the essence of your father? And your mother’s? How can you change them? The first step is to identify it, and then work on the change.

Question your beliefs around parenting

It is important that we understand that the way in which our parents educated us was situated in a very different social and historical context, since they were other times, where perhaps it was well seen to spank from time to time, or impose things on others. children, be authoritarian…

But things change, society evolves. Start questioning your beliefs around motherhood and parenting ; Surely, like everyone else, you have inherited a thousand mandates and a thousand ways of thinking that at the time of our parents “were normal”, but now they are not.

Identify these ideas and start questioning them; why do I think this way? To what extent is it a “mine” belief? Can this be applied today? How does it benefit my children?

Start with small changes

It is clear that the change in the parenting model will not be easy, much less something quick. Your change will be progressive.

So we encourage you to do it little by little. If, for example, you have identified that you are being very rigid and promoting excessive discipline with your children, you can try to find some small action from day to day that you can change.

If, for example, you demand that your children always finish all their homework before seven, and that they also do it independently, start by offering them your help if they need a little reinforcement, and give them the possibility of finishing them later , or finish at seven and then correct them together.

They are just ideas, but you can adapt them to those actions that you think are toxic in their upbringing, and that take you away from the upbringing that you really want to offer them.

Accompany and guide without pressuring or punishing

Respectful parenting, antagonistic to toxic parenting models, is one that takes into account the needs of children and respects their rhythms.

To get away from these toxic models, choose to accompany your children without pressuring them ; For example, instead of requiring them not to do certain things, show them what they can do.

Do not resort to punishment (it has been shown that this strategy is not educational, only punitive, since it does not offer any teaching to the child).

Know your children: put yourself in their place

If you want to avoid repeating toxic parenting models with our children, start by getting to know them, and connecting with them from there. Individualize parenting, and ask yourself, what do they need? What works best for them when I ask for things? And when I ask them, we talk, we play, we learn…?

And, on the other hand, in addition to knowing their way of being and thinking, identify the stage of development that your children are going through.

Are they in childhood, puberty or adolescence? In what evolutionary moment are they? Knowing this will help you adjust your expectations of them, what you can expect and what not, how you can respect their rhythms, etc.

Photos | cover (freepik)

The 10 Big Mistakes Parents Make When Trying to Apply Positive Parenting to Their...

Positive Discipline is an educational model that is gaining more and more popularity among families who want to educate their children in a respectful way, without yelling or punishment. There are hundreds of articles on positive parenting that we can find on the Internet and social networks, and some include tips and tools to apply it in our day to day.

"Don't talk to strangers": how to get this message across to kids without scaring...

There are children who are very sociable and who talk to everyone. Others who do not fear anything, or who are more innocent... which can also lead them to talk to anyone who approaches them.

The FOMO effect or "fear of missing out" in adolescence: this is how your...

The FOMO effect (Fear Of Missing Out) is defined as "the fear of missing something". And although it is a concept that has become relevant in recent years, it is nothing new. In the late 1990s, Dr. Dan Herman coined this term.

When your children pay more attention to Alexa than to you and you decide...

We live surrounded by technology and it is inevitable that this will be incorporated as one more tool in parenting. In addition to apps that help with things ranging from designing your baby's room to managing the calendar of children with separated parents, devices such as tablets, mobile phones or smart speakers are here to stay. Proof of this is the growing use of Alexa as a timer that children obey without question (or at least without protesting as much as their mother).

"You don't understand me": how to help adolescent children to be less dramatic and...

When they enter the stage of adolescence, there are many boys and girls who can become dramatic in situations that, for parents, do not have the same degree of importance. Thus, in day-to-day situations, they feel that the world is ending, or they live everything with great intensity.