Parental Blindspots and Children’s Stress
Most parents are extremely concerned about their children and their sense of well-being. They would do nothing to intentionally make life more difficult for their children and would do anything they could to be helpful and make life more enjoyable. Unfortunately as parents we are charged with the responsibility of helping our children learn and grow into mature productive adults. We want their lives to be easier as they become older not more difficult. Adults may not always see eye-to-eye with regards to parenting and at times conflicts arise. Differences regarding parenting may not be the only source of conflict between parents and at times it is difficult to deal with adult differences. It is usually best when adults can keep their conflicts separate from their children. Conflicts are particularly problematic when they continue over time and when children witness heated arguments which tend to be out of control. On the other hand less emotionally heated conflicts or differences of opinion which are productively resolved relatively quickly can be valuable learning experiences and can even help them develop a sense of emotional safety. On some level we all know that there is a relationship between the manner with which we communicate with each other and our children's stress? Because we are creatures of habits and much of our behavior is habitual the way we conduct ourselves is likely to appear normal even if it may be problematic. Even our emotional reactivity may appear to us to be normal. We just can not see ourselves clearly! I like the concept of the Johari Window which I would encourage everyone to check-out. It is a simple and useful tool for developing self-awareness and in this case to help improve parenting and family communications.