Questions From You

Parenting questions submitted by our community members and answered by a YOU Program facilitator.
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How can I correct my parents’ mistakes without overcompensating?

April 4, 2014

By YOU Program Facilitator

A mother and teenage daughter sit on the couch chatting.

Question: I disagree with some things my parents did when raising me. I want to parent differently, but don’t want to go too far in the opposite direction. How can I correct my parents’ mistakes without overcompensating too much?

Answer: Many individuals are afraid of becoming their parents. Even though we love our parents, as we mature and foster our own lifestyles we develop different values and priorities. Few things make us question priorities like becoming a parent.

You can still offer your child important guidance without going overboard. The important thing is to engage with your child early on and continue that engagement throughout his or her life.

As an engaged parent, you will learn to find a balance between what you want for your child and what he or she needs. Regardless of the parenting style you use, start practicing these techniques with your young child, which you can continue as he or she becomes an adult.

  • Talk with your child. The conversations will change through the years, but having daily chats as your child grows will not only keep you up-to-date on his or her life, but will also help you bond.
  • Listen to your child. By listening to what your child has to say, you communicate respect to him or her, regardless of age. Respect builds trust, which in turn will help your child listen to you when you express concerns or enforce rules.
  • Encourage independence. As a parent, part of your job is to prepare your child to become an independent adult who is financially responsible, physically and mentally healthy, and a contributing member to society. By encouraging your child to think independently and question his or her actions and beliefs, you can help your child become a responsible adult.

Fundamentally, we all want the best for our children. Even if you disagree with your parents’ techniques, they also wanted the best for you. It is important to remember that you can give your child the tools to become an independent, caring, and moral adult, but you can’t force him or her to become a specific person.

For more information on parental engagement, see the YOU: Your Child's First Teacher book series by Sunny P. Chico.

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