As a mother, I can tell you how scary it is for me to imagine the world and the challenges my daughters might have to encounter in their lives. I have found myself lingering at the corners of bookstores endeavouring to find the perfect book that would help me enhance my parental skills.
The international mental strength bestselling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do Amy Morin; who wrote a book to help parents healthily raise children and teenagers to cope with daily issues with a mentally strong version of themselves. Of course -to do that- we must quit the unhealthy parenting habits we typically do on this road. And as easy as it sounds, raising kids with healthy mentality behaviour can be difficult. It requires -us parents- to be mentally strong, at the same time serving as adequate role models, embracing life challenges maturely.
MENTALLY STRONG PARENTS RAISE MENTALLY STRONG CHILDREN.-AMY MORIN
Morin simplifies a strategy to parents that would lead them to adapt on this new healthy path, would reassuring -every single step- our kids are going to take in their future. If you have younger children like me, you are probably wondering what are you going to do. Or what would it take to give your kids the best version of yourself. Being an example is not that easy as it seems, and -sometimes- maybe the guilt or stress gets the best of us; these few points would lead your life to have mentally strong parenting to your children.
- They Don’t Condone a Victim Mentality- Facing challenges in life will chase you; it is like a daily rule of our existence as humans. Our mental strength will serve as an example we teach our children to face their problems. We can prevent our children from living/growing without making mistakes. We do not want our younger teenagers to fear their future; we want them to achieve every dream they have; teaching them that losing is a thing they must avoid in their life will only make them victims of their hopelessness. As the author says: A victim mentality is mostly a learned behaviour. If you tend to be a glass-half-empty kind of person, you might be unintentionally teaching your child is a victim of life unfortunate circumstances.
- They Don’t Parent out of Guilt- Being a mother can be stressful in a way -sometimes- I cannot help but think about the mistakes I made more than the achievements I had gotten within the day. One of my thoughts giving birth to my first baby girl was; everyone watches me do this. I have to be great. I was unaware that could potentially affect my mental health the way I see myself when things did not go that perfectly as I expected. For example, I spent about five years being a stay-home mom. I decided I was giving my girls the time they needed as babies before the thought of leaving them with anybody else. I felt guilty about choosing my dreams instead of being a full-time mother who does not leave their side. Every mother has the right to choose their way -when it comes- to parenting their children. It is okay to choose between staying at home or working a full-time job. We must know saying no to them is tolerable and acceptable.
- They Don’t Make Their Children the Center of the Universe- The author teaches us -in the previous chapter- the misconception about good parenting. Doing it out of guilt would lead us to grant everything to our children, making them our whole universe, overcompensating their behaviour. Making your life revolve around your child seems to be a good thing for them, but that will only give them the mentality of self-absorbed, narcissistic kiddos.
- They Don’t Allow Fear to Dictate Their Choices- This one is practically one of my favourites. Morin focuses on the importance of being and leading by example in our homes. Trying to protect them would be our first call but, mentally strong parents do not dictate choices to their kids out of fear. They guide their children to develop an attitude of a warrior waiting to fight no matter what result they might get. Are they winning or losing? Who cares! By the end of the day, nothing is more than teaching them they should never give up without trying first.
- They Don’t Give their Children Power Over them- “Psychologists use the term “family hierarchy” to describe the desired and necessary structure for a family. The husband and wife are at the top of the hierarchy, equal, with the children falling under them. Everything within the family stems from the top-level relationship of husband and wife. How does that translate to everyday terms?“
The hierarchy list of relationships starts between the behaviour/treatment the parents have to each other; treating themselves as equals. I dare to say single parents have the task of beginning their hierarchy by analyzing themselves. I know many of us do not desire to be the ruler or the uncool parent; setting boundaries with love and respect would show your children you are listening. Also, this behaviour shows them that you love them to make healthy choices drawing a line, teaching them how to respect each other, which will only guide them to explore their potential one hundred percent.
6. They Don’t Expect Perfection- Of course, mentally healthy parents understand that perfection is just an illusion we portrait ever since we came to this world. That bag of generational pressure lays on accomplishing what our parents dreamed of realizing. Teaching our children to do their best would lead them to see how they can achieve whatever they propose while being the best version of themselves. Amy resumes the problem of expecting our kids to be perfect by being at risk of developing perfectionism, which links to mental health problems, self-defeating behaviour, and chronic dissatisfaction.
7. They Don’t Let Their Child Avoid Responsibility- Making sure we understand how we are supposed to address our children mistakes with real consequences will guide them to become strong and independent adults. Creating a codependent child would make them lack maturity to survive the rigours of adulthood. As a daughter, I faced a time when my parents did not trust me as an adult; it created an adult life with codependency issues. Putting trust in our children to be responsible may be the key to the reaction they choose to have with life misfortunes.
8. They Don’t Shield Their Child From Pain- I wish I could prevent my two daughters from any danger without taking the opportunity to learn from it away from them, and there is where the importance of recognizing where the pain comes. I know we feel like no child in the entire world should suffer by any means pain but, our kids need to deal with emotional challenges to being ready for adulthood. Instead of stopping them from suffering, we must show them the opportunity to be brave.
9. They Don’t Feel Responsible For Their Childrens Emotions- Good parenting includes showing our kids what emotions are and how they feel about them. We must stop preventing our children from the responsibility of how they approach their feelings and how they cope with their reactions to particular scenarios.
10. They Don’t Prevent Their Child From Making Mistakes- It is possible to fail even when you try hard; you can also get a result you were not expecting. Let them fail. Allow your child to find their virtues. Failing does not mean we lose, teaching them that every situation has a meaningful teachable moment.
11. They Don’t Confuse Discipline With Punishment- Punishment, as the word says, is the way to punish and make your children pay for their wrongdoings. When parents usually punish, they do it out of desperation, while discipline is moved by education, guiding our children with moral and personal values as human beings.
12. They Don’t Take Shortcuts To Avoid Discomfort- What we are is what we show our children to do. Taking shortcuts will only teach your kids to do things without a clear intention to finish it the right way, even if that means a little bit of waiting in the process.
13. They Don’t Lose Sight of Their Values- It is easier to get caught -in this modern world- by the pressure of the media, family, and even friends. Standing on your belief will help you keep your feet on the ground, and do not forget what goals you are having and lead your family to live rightfully according to them.