Like Mother, Love Daughter: How Your Child Mirrors Your Parenting Style with Shelli Chosak
We use our upbringing as a big part of our role model (or anti-role model) for how to parent. Factors that go into the parenting style that we use by default include our early life experiences, our own observations of our parents that we do and don't like, imitating others' parents, our teachers and spiritual leaders that we admire.
Introversion is not the same thing as shyness. Introverts get their energy from inward sources and get exhausted from being around others for long periods and need peace and quiet to recharge, whereas shyness is related to lack of skills/confidence when in social situations. Extroverts get their energy from being around others. Ambiverts are equally intro- and extroverted.
Some children will grow to be more intro- or extroverted based on the other personality types in their household. Second- and third-born children may be different to distinguish themselves from their older siblings, and not necessarily based on their inborn temperament.
When we become parents, we understand the great responsibility that we have, and along with that often comes a subconscious sense of a need for control of our surroundings. But the real sense of control is SELF-CONTROL– a control of what's going on inside of you, not so much control of others or circumstances.
"Your child's feelings are real and true for them–it doesn't matter if you agree with them or not. The more you listen to them and acknowledge that their feelings are valid, the better your relationship will be… and you're also building a successful adult." – Dr. Shelli Chosak
What You Can Do
It's easy for people to notice and focus on what others (in this case their children) are doing and overlook their own behavior. But looking at yourself and how your actions may have contributed to a situation gives you the opportunity to become the kind of parent you want to be.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a book by Daniel Goleman. In it, he encourages paying attention to what you're feeling before you make a "knee-jerk" reaction.
One way to use EQ: when your child tells you she has been mistreated by someone, instead of reacting to the situation, practice thinking through a feeling before acting on it, and then you can teach your kids to do the same.
When you ask your child how they feel, and they're being honest with you, think about it yourself and see what truth is there.
We must also not get caught up in wanting our child to be just like us in order to fulfill our need for validation. Treating her as an individual will promote a strong relationship where the child feels valued, respected and heard.
Connect with My Guest
Shelli Chosak, Psychotherapist and Author