Parenting yourself today for better society tomorrow
What do parenting and cultures have in common? The simplest most straightforward answer will be “A lot! Everything”. But we are not settled with this and we go deeper in our analysis.
Every culture is characterized, and distinguished from other cultures, by deep-rooted and widely acknowledged ideas about how one needs to feel, think, and act as a functioning member of the culture. Cross-cultural study affirms that groups of people possess different beliefs and engage in different behaviors that may be normative in their culture but are not necessarily normative in another culture. Being born in Romanian and being a citizen of this country is also about sharing a set of norms and beliefs that make us adapt and function in our homeland community.
These beliefs and behaviors shape how parents care for their children. Thus, having experienced unique patterns of caregiving is a main reason that individuals in different cultures are who they are and often differ so from one another. Culture helps to construct parents and parenting, and culture is maintained and transmitted by influencing parental cognitions that in turn are thought to shape parenting practices (Bornstein & Lansford, 2010; Harkness et al.,2007). Children’s experiences with their parents within a cultural context consequently prepare them to become culturally fit members of their society.
Feeling, knowing, reading about all these connections and facing our own dilemmas, we wanted to get deeper understanding how Romanian culture has grown by understanding and measuring features of the mindset of today’s parents compared to previous generations (when they were parented as kids).
While running this study* we found some very important key things, that tell us truths that, while acknowledged, it could produce collective healing in time.
The vast majority of Romanians have a very bad opinion about the emotional intelligence of us as parents.
It's like we fail on letting love and positive energy pour through our veins from ancestors to predecessors. It is like something is blocking its way and we always feel the need to start everything all over again and do it better. That's often reflected in the community spirit as lack of individual confidence, lack of respect for the authority (the boss is the abuser), never finishing what we plan to do, not being able to work in teams for a common objective.
Parents of today are the opposite of their parents, like there is no accepted legacy left.
The majority of people believe their parents did such an inappropriate parenting, generating lots of childhood trauma, that they wish they position themselves in opposition to what they experienced in their childhood. There are very few that accept the fact their parents did the best they could do for the times they were living and they do not fully embrace feelings of gratitude for their ancestors. On the contrary, they’d rather consider them guilty for everything difficult they deal with today, as adults, partners or parents.
There is a clear tendency of the current generations of parents to live their childhood through their kids, allowing them to do and to experience whatever they missed out as kids.
At a cultural level there are some consequences, since the parenting strategy is not focused on transmitting cultural beliefs but rather on healing inner traumas. That makes us conclude that probably the next generation of parents will be balanced enough to be prepared to embrace cultural roots and move forward by accepting, growing and passing them over to their predecessors.
Other Interesting highlights of the study show that:
- Both generations (our parents and us as parents) seem to share an active preoccupation for the harmonious development of their kids and the educational formal performance. That means that irrespective of the methods, parents had always have good intentions
- The main barriers for becoming better parents are perceived to be lack of time (“the disease” of the century) and the self worth (in general and as a parent)
- Another interesting point is that what matters to parents in terms of recognition and appreciation is being recognized and valued for its role in kids life by their partners (59%) followed by their parents (49%). That proves that there is a trans-generational awareness that often fails in implementation due to unresolved trauma
In conclusion, building proper parenting and embracing what our ancestors did helps a lot in the development of a culture, community, country. It depends how much we want to heal, as trauma moves from one generation to the other, sometimes in an unconscious manner. If we keep wondering why Romania faces so many blockages (at individual and societal level) we need to also wonder how much of the childhood /parenting trauma we addressed as well.
Romania seems to have a gap in parenting at emotional level, responsible for individual growth and happiness. Romanian parents focused for years on teaching their kids the hardcore of survival and control, but that created the burden of feeling emotionally disconnected and unaccepted.
Whereas, for a culture to develop it is necessary for the parents to understand that without the transformational energy of acceptance and love, the cognitive intelligence could become toxic for an individual and its role in the society. And it is all of us suffering, the society as a whole. This is how important good parenting is for the quality of life, at its largest scale.