Be the type of parent that your child can go to when they have a problem because they know they won’t get yelled at or judged. So many parents wonder why their child doesn’t come to them for help and the answer is YOU. You showed them how you react to smaller problems thus they don’t come to you for bigger ones.

Having grown up with this type of parenting, I can verify that it teaches children to be self-reliant as much as possible, which may be the parent’s conscious intent. 

What children learn, though, is that their parents don’t trust them, that their existence is a bother, and that they will never be good enough. They learn to be apprehensive and suspicious of people who claim to care about them. They don’t learn skills or absorb information for the joy of learning, but out of fear of being demeaned, embarrassed, or punished. They don’t feel loved, no matter what their parents might tell them, because their parents provide many reasons why they are unlovable. This makes the child feel ashamed, because society teaches that parents are supposed to love their children, and the child learns to keep this shame, and their other problems, to themselves.

I remember teachers, grandparents, and other adults often remarked that I seemed unhappy. My parent’s response was to berate me for not smiling more. They never understood that their parenting style created a well-behaved, self-reliant child, but not a happy one.

Children learn what they live.


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