A paradigm shift in parenting: enhance your relationship with your children and adolescents

Is parenting truly as challenging as we believe it to be? What if it’s actually less difficult than we’ve been led to believe? If you’re diligently raising your children and adolescents but find that their behaviors sometimes don’t align with your values, perhaps it’s time to pause and reflect.

The prevailing notion is that parenting ranks among the toughest jobs. Yet, this belief can be limiting, even toxic, preventing us from seeing things as they truly are. What do I mean? Let’s delve deeper.

From the very moment of conception, children and adolescents are profoundly influenced by their experiences. Have you ever been told, “You’re just like your mother,” or, “You’re totally like your father,” in response to a behavior reminiscent of your parents’? If so, this article may resonate with you.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore how crucial a mother’s emotional well-being is to both the emotional and physical development of her child. According to a study published in The Journal of Physiological Sciences, chronic stress exposure during pregnancy affects fetal development. Furthermore, persistent negative maternal emotions such as anxiety, depression, and anger can also impact fetal and subsequent child development (Araki et al., 2019).

Another study by psychobiologist Miguel Diego and colleagues from the University of Miami School of Medicine found that fetuses of mothers experiencing high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress tend to weigh less and be smaller than average at midterm. The stress hormone cortisol appears to be a potential mechanism for transmitting maternal stress to the unborn baby (Diego et al., 2006).

This research, alongside numerous other studies on the topic, suggests that the source of our children’s and adolescents’ behavior may be more closely linked to our emotional state than we realize. This realization is empowering because it suggests that by addressing our own emotional well-being, we can positively influence their behavior and development.

Imagine a parenting journey characterized by open communication, mutual trust, and collaboration. In this scenario, children and adolescents feel safe expressing themselves and sharing their experiences and emotions with us. We become adept at deciphering their internal “instruction manual,” guiding them toward fulfillment while understanding their potential and supporting them in creating a healthy future.

But is it easier said than done? Not really. All it requires is an open mind and a lot of love. By letting go of old, unproductive beliefs and embracing new possibilities, we can transform our relationship with our children and adolescents.

By asking ourselves questions such as, “Am I providing everything my child needs?” or, “Am I attentive to the signs my child is showing me?” we open ourselves to a deeper understanding of our interactions with them.

This deeper understanding allows us to view our children’s and adolescents’ behavior, as well as our role in shaping it, from a broader perspective. For example, if your adolescent refuses to attend school, you might initially see it as a rebellious act. However, it could be a signal of an unmet emotional need.

Having such insights can work wonders, improving our lives and fostering a healthy future for our children.