I grew up with a single mother. She had had a hard life and suffered from some emotional problems. She had some paranoia issues and had a hard time working in a normal job situation. I have heard it said that mental illness can be defined as a state that prevents you from functioning in in normal society. I would say this was true of my mother. She did well by me but sometimes I wonder how much of it was passed on , not by genetics but by association.
Most of us do not take parenting lessons and babies don’t come with instruction books. If we are smart, we will put in time to study parenting on our own. If we are not careful, we will follow the same bad practices our parents did. That was our lesson manual. Some were lucky enough to have great parents. Most of our parents did many things right. Be Careful. Take time to analyse how you react with your children. Are there things you could do better but you just do what your parents did? Discipline should not be based on emotions. Conversely, proper discipline can help develop healthy emotional reactions.
Is Your Family Dysfunctional
I am not crazy about the label “dysfunctional family.” Aren’t all our families dysfunctional in some ways? We are all learning. Some of us joke about our families being dysfunctional but then there are real very troubled families that are hurting themselves and their children. Aren’t we minimizing their problems?I learned on my first children. When they were disobeying and I couldn’t control them, I would often yell at them and even use corporal punishment like my mother did. It wasn’t working and things got worse as they got older. The elementary school nearby was offering parenting classes and I relented and took them.
Things I learned that I was doing wrong.
- Don’t yell and scream. Set rules and consequences. Follow them yourself. Be consistent.
- Don’t use corporal punishment ( hitting and spanking). It just causes resentment and can drive a wedge between parent and child. It can be harmful.
- Consequences can range from time outs to taking away privileges such as video games, freedom, use of car, or permission to go somewhere. These depend on the age and temperament of the child. Different things work for different children.
- If a child has chores or duties and does them, make sure he of she is rewarded with praise and before agreed upon privileges or even bribes(allowance). If he or she does not do them, may sure he or she suffers consequences. Be consistent.
- Discuss rules and disagreements with your child. Keep communication open by listening and being flexible when possible. But you make the rules. Explain why it has to be this way. Use terms like, “regardless” and “Nevertheless.” Be consistent.
- Pick your battles. As kids get older, they test out their individuality. If he grows his hair long or she listens to obnoxious music, and least they are not using drugs or staying out all night. Again, pick guidelines that really matter and that you can follow up on. You must follow up on what really matters. Be consistent.
- .Be a good example. They all learn how to act by imitating us in work, play, activities, and emotional reactions.
This blog started out being about emotional problems but ended up focusing on discipline again. Emotional health and discipline are related. So much depends on good interaction between parents and children, including the emotional well being of both. I could write a book about my mistakes. I will probably share some of them. You will hear more on emotional illness from me because our family had some experience with it.
Here is a helpful site to check out. http://www.nemours.org/services/health/growuphealthy/emotion/families.htm