Parenting can be a fancy name for an imitation game. From the day we are born, our senses work towards adapting the environment that surrounds us. Our skin gets used to the temperature, our eyes properly focus the light that we stay in, while our ears adjust and differentiate between the various sounds that we hear. But all of this is not enough, our body wants more, to learn and perform, and this is where are parents come in – to nurture and help us grow.
The first five years of a child are extremely crucial because every event and experience is so new and fresh, that it tends to leave an impact. Some events might lead a child to fixate on a certain behavior, such as an oral fixation at the very start of the psychosexual stages, as outlined by Freud. This is the time in which our personalities are shaped, through what we learn and absorb in these very years.
The significance of parenting is highlighted when we grow up to be individuals within different societies and are no longer under the protective umbrella of our parents. We usually feel that we are just the way we are which is not completely true because our parents have a very big role in shaping what we are today through various aspects such as conversing, eating, drinking, socializing, hygiene, and behavior with others.
Children look up to their parents the way they would look up to nobody else, so it becomes the parent’s responsibility to portray such behavior that would be beneficial to the child’s character development and not affect him or her adversely. For example, when parents fight in front of their children it has a strong impact on them. It cannot be said that each child feels the same way, but someone who witnesses their parents fight on a regular basis will grow to understand that fighting is an extremely normal behavior only because the parents regularly engage in it. Abusive parents tend to have kids that either fully fixate on their behavior or are completely opposite i.e. either the child will be fully abusive towards his peers or be complete meek and, or, unnaturally afraid of violence. Both of these cases are not good personality characteristics.
Psychologists say that the problems we face today are a manifestations what we could not fully come to terms with in the past, these can be then considered as parenting mistakes made my our families in the past. Recent studies highlight that you should not change your clothes in front of a baby, no matter how young, because since the day our eyes open, we begin to form perceptions that will have an effect on us in our adult life.
Parenting is not an easy job because there is no correct answer to this equation. Individual differences play a very strong role in this matter because every child is different and so are the beliefs and techniques of the parents. If we consider the problems in the societies all around the world such as rape culture, violence, terrorism, and everything else that should not be part of a safe environment roots from years and years of boiling aggression and repressed feelings. Everything has a cause, and more than half of the times it stems from childhood.
Since the beginning of time there have been parents who try to repress what their child is, defying the laws of nature, in order to create something that they feel is right. This is not how things are meant to be. Yes, humans are considered plastic because they can be molded accordingly but that still does not change the fact that everyone is born with a personality, which can be changed or adapted toward something different keeping the environment in mind, but if repressed – could lead to a range of psychological problems, out if which the most common could be anxiety, social awkwardness, or chronic depression.
So if you think that you turned out to be normal amidst the problems that you have lived through then your parents must have done something right.