To be a cycle breaker means you are willing to ask the tough questions that relatives couldn’t or wouldn’t ask. It means seeking to understand your behaviors and uncover patterns passed down from previous generations. It requires you to be vulnerable, but the rewards are worth it.
Some families pass on heirlooms from one generation to the next. Sometimes those heirlooms are valuable pieces of jewelry or furniture. Sometimes it is a box of letters our great-grandfather sent home to our great-grandmother during the First World War. For others, rather than a valuable or sentimental item, the history of generational dysfunction or trauma is passed from one generation to the next.
The parenting relationship involves two people: you and your child. When there is strife in the relationship, we often look to the kids. We question why they aren’t listening, why they are making things so difficult. Rarely, do we turn the microscope back at ourselves. But to become a better parent, we should.
Being an authentic parent means that you are real – you show a full range of emotions. But it also means recognizing when those emotions impact others in a way we don’t intend. To be an authentic parent also means having the ability to recognize a mistake, own it, and correct it.
Authoritative. Authoritarian. Permissive. Neglectful. Tiger. Helicopter. Lawn mower. Gentle. Responsive. Conscious. Respectful. The list of parenting styles is endless. Add one more to that list: authentic parenting.