Happy & healthy children

16 Dec 2016

We don’t go into parenting thinking about how our children will come out when they’re adults, but as parents we must try to get the parenting thing right, if our children are to turn into happy and healthy adults.

We also don’t anticipate the ways in which our children may become psychologically damaged through parenting. On an unconscious level, we go into parenthood wanting the best for our children.

So why do some children come out of their childhood scathed?

I believe the key to a happy and healthy successful childhood is emotional support. Without emotional support, children cannot function successfully. In a world where we don’t talk about the things that matter, it’s important we talk to our children. Emotional support starts with the parents.

Without emotional support, everything becomes difficult. As human beings, we thrive on love and emotional support and will struggle without it. Unfortunately, some parents think that having food on the table and a roof over their child’s head, they’ve done their job, but those things can never constitute a loving home or a loving relationship, nor will it help children build confidence in later life.

It’s up to all parents to contribute to their children’s emotional health. Without it, it’s easy to see why children struggle and then mess up. Abusing a child’s emotions in this way is neglect and if not changed will continue into their future relationships. It’s important for us to talk to our children about their fears, wants and needs.

Unconsciously, we parent as we have been parented, but we must think about and change the way we parent, regardless of what’s gone before us. It may be that we’re not fully aware or that we don’t stop to question, but that’s exactly what we must do.

4 Responses to “Happy & healthy children”

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  1. Brad 16. Dec, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    Happy and healthy children should be the overriding aim of parenting. Unfortunately in my experience, a hands off approach by my parents really didn’t cut the mustard.

    It certainly taught me how not to parent, so in all I look at the experience positively.

    • Ilana 16. Dec, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      It doesn’t cut the mustard unfortunately doesn’t describe what you were actually dealing with. Any hands off parenting, is a form of neglect and abuse.

      I think you’re right though. Your parents have taught you how not to parent and that is positive, but I know the consequences having experienced neglect myself, what toll it can take on our emotional and physical health.

  2. Randy 16. Dec, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    In the beginning of my daughter’s life, I tried to do the right things and be a good parent, which turned out to be a hard thing when I didn’t know what I was doing. My parents were pretty much useless as far as teaching us anything, other than how to avoid your responsibilities.

    My Mom treated me like her emotional teddy bear and expected me to console and support her. My dad tried his best to make her happy, but I don’t think anything that he could have done would have been enough. She wanted to be able to travel the world like she did when she was a kid, but we lived like poor white trash, so that wasn’t going to happen. My opinion is that she shouldn’t have ever had children.

    All I know is that I did the best I could and was doing a pretty good job up until I decided I wanted a divorce without thinking about it. My biggest mistake was letting my daughter stay with her mother for all the wrong reasons. I was the one taking care of my daughter, getting her to all of her appointments, working and taking care of the house, so I should have taken my daughter with me when I left.

    Needless to say my ex-wife did a lot of things I didn’t approve of and I lost my mind for a while. This led to her getting sole custody of our daughter so I didn’t have much of a say after that. Long story short, my daughter didn’t get what she needed so now she lives a very isolated life if you want to call it that.

    Now all of these years later I’m trying to be the parent that she needed to have all along. I know she may have Cerebral Palsy, but she should have been shown how to focus on the things she can do and not all all the things she can’t. I followed my instincts when she was very young and somehow knew what the right thing to do was.

    I know I could have been an amazing father then, but all I have is now, so I need to make the best of it. Chances are the cancer may take her mother this time, so I may have the chance once again to help her learn how to become an adult herself. They never really pushed her to do much of anything which is a shame considering she’s such a smart, pretty girl deserves to have the life she wants to.

    The most I can do right now is be available for her when she needs me.

    • Ilana 16. Dec, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

      Thanks Randy. You’ve explained your predicament so eloquently. I know that if you could have changed things for your daughter when your daughter was younger, I know you will have done. Don’t feel bad for something you had little control over. You’re doing what you need to do now. That is what matters.

      Even if we can’t parent in the way we would like, I think children need to understand. Your daughter will have been too young all those years ago to understand what you were going through, but children are often more resilient than we think; they bounce back relatively quickly.

      With what you say about your ex-wife that’s possibly where things will have become more difficult for your daughter.

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