Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Negative Parenting

Marti appeared on KARE 11 News on Wednesday, October 16th to discuss the topic of Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Negative Parenting. If the video becomes available we will share it, stay tuned! Until then, here is some information Marti discussed and an event invitation for next Tuesday, October 22nd where Marti and Erin will continue the conversation.

Many of us swear we will never do and say some of the things our parents did when we were kids. But then, we become parents and suddenly hear our parents’ voices coming out of our own mouths. Some of that is inevitable, but if our parents did things that were seriously harmful to us, physically or emotionally, it is important to figure out how to avoid passing on that hurt to the next generation. Fortunately, research offers hope for how to break those negative cycles if we are willing to “look back and move forward.”

Marti joined KARE 11 NewsAdrienne Broaddus to share 5 tips to a secure-autonomous state of mind:
1) Face the pain
2) Acknowledge its ongoing influence on you
3) Come to some understanding of why your caregivers were the way they were
4) Choose what you want to repeat and what you don’t want to repeat
5) Muster all the available resources to help you live out those choices

Research shows that people who experienced very negative parenting, including abuse and neglect, are indeed at increased risk of doing the same with their children. For example, some studies have shown that about 40% of parents who were maltreated in their own childhood will abuse or neglect their children. But the good news is that it is not so much how you were parented, but how you have come to think about it, that shapes your own parenting. We can’t change the past; but, with information, support and honest reflection, we can change how we think about it. For example, if you are denying or dismissive of the pain you experienced, you are likely to dismiss your child’s emotional needs. If you are preoccupied with the pain you experienced (as if it happened yesterday), you may be erratic and unpredictable in responding to your child. The goal is to move toward what is called a more “secure, autonomous” state of mind that can free you up to respond more sensitively and predictably to your child’s emotional needs. Professional help often is needed, but a supportive partner or friends can help as well.

Do you want to learn more about Marti’s topic on this KARE segment? And would you like a chance to engage in an open discussion with Marti and Erin? Then come to this free, public event next Tuesday, October 22nd. Click here for more details!