Childhood is a crucial development period during which a child acquires key skills and knowledge he or she will rely on throughout life. Early relationships and interactions with parents play a key role in development of one’s communicative skills, negative behavior inhibition, and emotion management skills. Thus, looking back at one’s relations with parents and assessing them makes sense for rationally reconstructing certain habits, skills, coping strategies one relies on.My interactions with parents can be described as dependent, attention-seeking, approval-seeking, loving, proud. Looking back I remember to constantly crave their attention while they were busy with work most of the time and spending time with me only late at night and occasionally over the weekend. I was also trying very hard to be successful at school and various extracurricular activities to make my parents feel proud and praise me. However, at that age I did not perceive it as if I was lacking their attention, even through I know now that that I did, especially when it comes to adequately expressing my emotions and being able to communicate disagreement, dissatisfaction, and anger as my parents tended to repress these emotions and I did not have a proper model to follow.
My parents’ interaction with me can be characterized as loving, but somewhat restrained, caring, but in limited doses, supporting, and serious. While I know that my parents loved me as a child, they rarely took the time to demonstrate or say it. They did not show much emotion nor did they play with me often. Thus, I reconstruct that they treated my quite seriously, as if I was a mini-adult so to say, and not as child who wants to play and be nourished. At the same time I have to admit that they were supportive of me with matters of school and friends.
While I tend to regard my childhood as good time there are some things I think could be done differently. I would advice my parents to be more open about their emotions and feelings, both positive and negative, and pay more attention to developing child’s ability to recognize and handle his or her emotions. Studies report that families that allow for emotional displays, talk about it, and help children recognize, label, and handle their emotions contribute to higher levels of emotional competence and emotional regulation (Morris et al., 2007), which is linked to better ability to handle carry out academic tasks, build productive relationships with teachers, and better get along with peers (Graziano et al., 2007).
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