We often share tips on parenting of what you SHOULD do to help your kids become emotionally healthy adults, but this week we are looking at what NOT to do. This week we will share Julie Hanks' list of 8 surefire ways to emotionally screw up your kid. As much as we hope that our readers know these already, it is a great reminder to help us stay focused on emotionally healthy parenting and make changes in our weak spots.
#1 Shut down all emotional expression
Emotion is normal for all humans! We all have them and feel them. We just have different ways of processing them and expressing them.
A way to mess up your child is by teaching them that emotion is not normal. Making fun of a child's emotions, telling them to get over it, and telling them that how they feel is wrong will start them on a road to shutting off their emotions.
Also threatening your child to stop feeling will create a shut down. For example, by saying something like, "Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about."
It will also hurt your child if you don't connect with them when they are expressing emotions. If you withhold comfort and love when a child is upset, they will learn the rejection of you is so painful that they will just stop feeling so they don't have to feel the pain of their situation and your rejection.
When a parent is highly emotional and reactive, it can cause a child to halt their emotional process. There isn't enough room for 2 people having an emotional melt down, so the child will often shift into a caretaker role of the parent when this happens.
More ways to screw up your kids coming tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
Source: 8 Surefire Ways to Emotionally Screw Up Your Kid by Julie Hanks found on PsychCentral.com
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.