How to build healthy adults?

I am constantly wondering why so many parents and adults would want to cause children so much pain.

“If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” – Alfie Kohn.

Why do I always hear the narrative that we need to hit children, punish them, and shame them in order to teach them? Why do we keep repeating phrases like kids these days are screwed up because their parents are to easy on them? Do we really think that our life as an adult would be better if we were hit, beat, and physically abused as a child?

How can we be so disconnected from what our child is going through, but at the same time think we are creating a relationship they will want to be a part of? How do we not see the parallels in our own struggles as an adult to have meaningful and satisfying relationships?

What if we started to really do the work necessary in creating healthy children? What if we focused more of our attention on nourishing and repairing our relationships with our children? What would that look like?

What would our families look like if we raised our children without threatening them, if we didn’t intimidate them, if we stopped punishing them, if we stopped raising our voices at them, if we stopped teaching them to submit to authority and power?

What if we encouraged them, we listened more, we apologized, we took the time to teach them, we were patient with them, we helped build confidence in them, we showed them what its like to grow up with love, to grow up being proud and strong, and to have them look up to us because of how they were treated.

For them to know that we put in the work, we challenged ourselves, we pushed through hard times, we didn’t make excuses, and we did not submit to the easy and instant gratification at the expense of the long term relationship we could have with our children.

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