When parents are not emotionally sound, this trait gets transmitted to the children. Unless they are aware of how negative emotions affect their children and consciously make efforts to respond to them in healthy ways, they might raise children with unhealthy emotions.
Children learn who they are, know how to identify, value, and communicate needs and feelings through interactions with their parents are emotionally healthy.
As a mother, how you communicate with your children is critical to the formation of their identity and to a large extent, determines how secure their sense of self and self-esteem will be.
One of the main characteristics of a healthy family is the freedom to express thoughts and observations. Secrets and no-talk rules are common in dysfunctional families. Children are naturally inquisitive about everything. This is healthy and should be encouraged, not suppressed.
Showing your children respect means that you listen and take them seriously.This attitude communicates that who they are, what they think and feel have merit. You don’t have to agree with what they say, but listening to understand shows that you respect them and teaches them self-respect. Speak to your children with courtesy. Avoid criticism, which is destructive to self-esteem.
Instead, praise the behaviour you desire. You can set limits and explain negative consequences of behaviour you dislike without name-calling. When you treat your children with respect, they will treat others with respect and expect the same in their future relationships.
Accept your children’s feelings. Allow them to express anger, complain, feel sad, or even get excited. Don’t teach them to repress their feelings. This becomes problematic in their adult relationships and can lead to depression. Allowing children to express their feelings provides a healthy outlet.
Respecting children’s thoughts and feelings is a way of respecting boundaries. Verbal abuse and attacks violate their boundaries, as does unwanted touch and sexual exposure or intimacy. Additionally, children’s property, space, and privacy should be respected.
Allow children age-appropriate decisions, responsibility, and independence. Children need support in learning how to solve problems and make decisions on their own.
Some children are controlled or pampered, become dependent and don’t learn to make their own choices, while others are given unlimited freedom without guidance.
Age-appropriate limits teach them self-control. When they are ready to test their wings, they need guidance to help them make their own decisions plus the freedom to make and learn from mistakes.
Children need safe and fair environment. When rules and punishments are harsh, inconsistent, instead of learning from mistakes, children become angry and anxious. They learn to distrust their parents, authority, and others.
Rather than base rules and punishments on emotions in the moment, think through what’s important and what is reasonably enforceable, which varies as children age and are more independent.
Explain rules to older children, allow them to question you, and have good reasons to back up your decisions. The best punishments are reasonable, humane, and relate to the natural consequences of the wrong-doing.