No matter how non-judgmental and open we think we are, we all grow up with negative or critical messages that shape us. We all on some level categorize others in our minds. Many of us have strong uncomplimentary opinions and we sometimes, intentionally or not, communicate these thoughts and ideas to others. These messages, just like parenting styles, get handed down generation after generation, so if you are a negative or critical parent, know that your style and your messages will likely carry through to your grandchildren and beyond. Even the most kind, patient, and loving parent slips into a negative statement once in a while. Controlling negativity in your communication is for the parent whose automatic style is critical, angry, overly strict, or rigid. It is the repetition of experience that imprints a child's self-esteem and developing sense of who they are.
DR. FRAN'S TOP TEN TIPS:
I'll never forget the time -- the first time, that is -- my daughter told me she hated me. It's irrelevant in that emotional moment whether the hate is real or justified. All you know is that the person you love more than anyone -- the person you... read more
It's a funny thing about reading stories to small children. With a cozy, blanket-clutching child firmly ensconced on your lap (next to you is not close enough—he must be on the lap, you read stories in which a small child (or animal proxy) ventu... read more