The job of a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world and nobody really teaches you how to raise your children in a formal manner that you follow. The reality is that despite all of the parenting courses and books that are available, when it comes to raising a child, our unconscious will take us back to our childhood, bringing all the memories that were seen as lost for good to the surface. It is often a conscious decision to have a child, and it is usually made when we feel safe, mature, and emotionally balanced, but sometimes a child is born even when we are not that emotionally prepared, when we haven’t attained a certain level of maturity.
The psychologists claim that when you have a child, you are most often making an unconscious decision through which you are projecting your desires, your unmet needs and sometimes you are trying to mend something that was broken during your childhood. Taking decisions with a high level of self-awareness is a very rare thing, and it heavily depends on where somebody has reached on his or her path of personal development until that point in time. There is no doubt that having a child within a couple is usually a mixed project, as both partners bring their distinctive personal stories, desires, and ideas, and that the degree of discrepancy between these factors will determine the success of the project as a whole. Moreover, there are also other factors to consider, such as the stage of the relationship in which the couple is at at that particular time, which can have an impact on the decision to have a child, as well as the process involved in raising a child.
Several parents have expressed the desire to raise their children in a certain way, often referring back to their own parents in the process, even when they reject their style and try to do it differently. As much as formal education can assist in raising a child, it is usually competing against patterns and schemes already present in the family of origin, which were considered through the lens of modelization, which is very often encoded in the subconscious mind of the individual. Being raised by our parents is more than just receiving information from another human being. It is living experiences and emotions, seeing various ways in which people behave and act, learning how to treat others, and adopting certain attitudes towards the world around and towards ourselves. It is important to understand that we are the product of all these experiences, and the more we reject them or our parents, the more they come out on the surface of our personalities.
It is very common that when we are disappointed by our parents and the way they have raised us, we try very often to compensate in our children’s case, by giving them what we had been denied in our childhood, trying to recreate in some way the childhood of our own, by attempting to replicate our childhood in a symbolic manner. It is very important to recognize that having children and raising them is, in essence, an experience of learning, evolution and a chance for us to improve and heal as we go through this process. Even though we have projected a different way of raising our child from that of our parents, we are surprised to find out that parenthood comes with so many challenges that we often find ourselves in the same situation as we experienced as a child.
The process of changing one’s model of parenting is an extremely difficult one, which does not normally happen as a result of formal learning, such as reading some books or taking a course. There is a reason for this because the familiar from our lives is so powerful that it automatically enters into the scene when we are challenged by a variety of triggers such as stress, exhaustion, fatigue as well as many other challenges that a child could bring into our lives. As a parent, a child brings us joy, but it also brings a lot of questions, challenges, and very often our mental and physical resources are surpassed in so many ways that our vulnerabilities are revealed and we are forced to respond in ways we never could have imagined. We are surprised and maybe we become so critical of ourselves because we aren’t the ideal parents that we had hoped to be. However, we realize that we are human beings with limitations and vulnerabilities. As a result of this case, we have the opportunity to become more tolerant, understand a bit more about our parents, maybe even forgive them and become a better person.