Here’s How to Deal With Parental Criticism
From deciding which parent is the good cop and which is the bad cop to mapping out a baby-friendly route through Disneyland and figuring out how to bring your baby to a bar, parents are always trying to get it right. Of course, since no parent is perfect — heck, we aren’t perfect either — the flaws can sometimes peek through. Often this imperfection manifests itself as criticism, which can affect kids long after their childhood. We chatted with marriage and family therapist Laura Heck on how to move on and forgive parental criticism.
Heck says that parents often criticize their children because of a desire to fit in with social norms. Sometimes it’s really important to a parent to live their own life through the life of their child. While children can be criticized for anything, Heck points out that the most common area of disapproval is a child’s weight.
“It’s tough for parents to understand that kids are going to go through awkward phases,” Heck said. “Kids get enough criticism from their peers — they don’t need it from their parents.” If you were on the receiving end of this criticism as a child (or perhaps still feel criticized), Heck recommends self-talk to separate your parent or parents’ opinions from the way you view yourself.
“Recognize that it’s a really unhelpful voice that’s talking to you,” Heck says. “That criticism is an old audio tape that gets triggered. What you can do is press stop and play a different one.”
To help parents avoid criticizing their child or children, Heck encourages them to compliment their child’s character, rather than their appearance. Placing importance on a child’s internal qualities will teach them how much they take precedence over physical attractiveness in life. She also recommends relying on a co-parent to hold you accountable.
The final stage of this healing process is to forgive your parents for criticizing you. By having a candid, honest conversation about the way parental criticism affected you, you and your parent can have closure.
“It can be really hard to have a conversation like that,” Heck says. “It can be really healing — but both parties need to be ready for it.”
How do you avoid criticizing your own children? Tell us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)