Parenting: Insights on 2020, Insights for 2021text_fields
The trends in parenting and the type of parenting have evolved a lot over generations, each generation having its own unique characteristics that depend on certain variable factors and some constant ones. Some that can be changed, some that are very difficult to change but that can be changed.
Parenting for some in the older generations has been about doing their duty as a parent, teaching kids to be dutiful to them, and then raising dutiful kids. For some, parenting is about being adults, being free to do what they want because "they have to live in a society" but not wanting the same habits, life, or behaviour in their children. The latter category of parents is increasing.
Most parents prefer that their children "get fixed" without them "wanting to get fixed" or even "realizing or accepting the need to get fixed themselves." It seems like the birth of the child and being a parent qualifies them as a parent equipped to handle everything to do with the child, everything to do with their role as a parent. The need of learning parenting and understanding relationships is underrated and therefore family problems are increasing year by year but the pandemic has brought up realities to the surface.
Families never got so much time together until the lockdown because everyone was either busy with their responsibility of work, managing home or education or socializing or creating social impact outside the home.
Everyone seemed to be escaping from reality and not dealing with real and big issues because of not being around each other physically, because emotional or mental distancing was convenient.
The relationship problems between the husband and the wife, between a spouse and in-laws, between parents and children, and other relationships have started becoming prominent because of the physical presence and being around each other more than ever before.
Childhood traumas of parents are surfacing and being projected onto their children or their own parents in different ways. Childhood traumas of children are being projected and parents face issues with children or there are fights between siblings or cousins that get very difficult to handle.
By playing games together, having good dinner or movie time, or book reading time can't solve problems and strengthen bonds. Asking the children to open up or trying to talk won't help until everyone feels at ease with each other.
Children today are smarter than before. They sense dangers and are careful about who they put their trust in. It's not easy to truly discipline a child today unless parents walk the talk and children see their parents leading by example or truly seeing them strive for it.
Parents must realize that children observe really well and during the lockdown, they have been observing their adults more than ever before. Children don't hear the talk and obey. Children see the example set by parents, their habits, their behaviors, their manners and simply follow them.
Most children can't do it differently unless there's some intrinsic motivation in them. That can be brought about by providing good mentors who consistently work with them and also a like-minded community of children where they feel connected as children tend to develop good habits if they have continuous peer support and they see peers doing the same. Parents must strive to be more mindful of children if they want them to be different.
Children observe well how their mother treats the father, how their father treats the mother, how their grandparents treat each other. They are very sensitive to how adults treat them. How parents treat each other or how they treat the child determines how the children will treat their parents in the present and when they grow older and parents are old and weak. If they see their grandparents being treated badly by their parents, they may show signs in a small or big way over the years towards their parents. They may pick up beliefs that can be embedded for life because during the lockdown the action is live, close, and real.
It's important for parents to understand that if any issues come up then they need to be resolved for their own peace. If both can't handle or effectively converse because of strains between them then they must seek help from professionals, family counselors or experts who can help them resolve issues if they can't trust their family members for any reason. The need to fix problems is urgent so that children don't get wounded emotionally or mentally and to ensure that they grow up to be healthy adults.
When families are at home most of the time, the carpets also need to be dusted and dirt can't be hidden under the carpet. Similarly, the family members staying together has brought up a lot of problems and issues that should no longer be shrugged under the carpet. Be it problems between two brothers, two sisters, their spouses, their children over personal or professional matters, matters need to be addressed, and to be handled better than pretending everything is resolved. Good family pictures, good posts about family time, good stories being published or shared won't ensure healed generations in the times ahead. How adults try to deal with issues, how they resolve matters, how they deal with conflict will set the tune for how generations after will do.
The lockdown has also revealed that healing is not that easy. The need to heal isn't even realized. Power, position, titles, being leaders in any capacity isn't a guarantee of being healed. In fact, the more the power, position, title or leadership, the need to heal oneself can be much higher. Parents not being able to deal with their individual childhood traumas and unspoken, unfelt complaints they had against their own parents along with their inability to handle their relationship properly could lead to lots of traumas being transferred to the children, consciously or unconsciously and that could be deadly.
It's essential that during the pandemic, parents find time for their own learning and invest in understanding parenting, in understanding relationships better, in striving to fix themselves, and magically and miraculously see their children and generations getting fixed.