I have a confession, it seems I ‘messed up’ my children and I had no idea.
According to a group of ‘experts’, psychologists and psychiatrists I have caused an array of potentially long term, damaging effects to my children, all while doing what I thought was my parenting best.
So, what are these cruel, horrific, damaging things I have inflicted upon my two children I hear you ask? Please find below the 101 on how to ‘mess up’ your kid:
Meal times with perfectly imperfect mums… it’s not easy.
1. Threatening to leave your kids behind.
I’m sorry (not sorry) but if threatening your kids with leaving them at home, in the car, at school, at the shop, at a friend’s house, really anywhere isn’t a prerequisite of parenting (not to mention the need to keep to some sort of schedule) then I don’t know what is.
Dr. L. Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, told The Atlantic, “threatening your child with abandonment, even in seemingly light-hearted ways, can shake the foundation of security and well-being that you represent.”
Luckily for most of us, Mamamia spoke to Clinical Psychologist, Dr Judith Lock, who wasn’t as concerned with our cruelty.
“It is fine to do this, just don’t do it all the time,” Dr Locke said. “It does depend on the background and history of the child though, if there is some sort of trauma or history of abandonment or neglect it could definitely be harmful.”
But with a child who has grown up in a loving environment, doing this once every so often is perfectly harmless, Dr Locke insisted.
2. Lying to your child.
Honesty is the best policy, so they say. As parents we must always tell our children the truth. Well, at least according to Professor Sroufe.
“A simple but extremely important rule of thumb in child rearing is, Don’t lie to your child,” Professor Sroufe said.
“The next time you’re tempted to tell a little lie or otherwise bend the truth, consider another way: it is an opportunity to grow. Embrace the truth and help your child work through the confusing feelings. It will be much better for their health over the long term.”