When caregivers don’t live by the rules they preach, children start to question the validity of everything.

When children sense that their integrity is being questioned, they rebel. They trust you to put food on the table and provide a safe and secure home to thrive. Similarly, they want you to trust the choices and decisions they’re consciously making. 

When parents’ expectations don’t match the child’s ability to perform, there’s going to be anxiety, confusion and dread in the child. And to compensate, they’ll rebel outrageously or work themselves to massive burn out. Both scenarios are not sustainable and can be dangerous for their self worth.

Children don’t want to be told No. They first want to be explained why something might not be the best choice for them. Also, pushing too hard will be met with push back. 

Most times, it takes just one event for a child’s confidence to hit rock bottom. Once their confidence has been undermined, mild symptoms of sadness creep into them because of the mixed messages they are getting from home and school.

Shame is big, it makes them hide from others. Shame feels like being unloved. Food, safety and shelter is one thing. Having a feeling of being unworthy of our love is a threat to their existence, it’s a survival need for children.

Children then start to rebel or defend their every action. Then comes social isolation and self withdrawal. They seek isolation because they can’t seem to satisfy their parents and they can’t compete for attention from the “cool” kids at school. Slowly these conditions will manifest into panic attacks, social anxiety, social phobias, self harm, suicides and other trauma related disorders.

Then how exactly can you positively nurture them? By first understanding what children crave.


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