There’s something endearing about sincerity , and authenticity. As you can imagine, that concept translates to parenting.
What is authentic parenting?
Well, it’s not so easily defined in one sentence. As Dr. Stephen Joseph, author of Authentic: How to be yourself and why it matters, propounds in a post published by Psychology Today, authentic parenting “starts with the belief that each person is unique in what they bring to the world. Like an acorn that has the potential to grow into an oak tree if it receives the right amount of sunlight and nutrients from the soil, authentic parents do their best to care for and nurture their child so that he or she develops to their full potential.”
In order to be an authentic parent, he writes, “we have to listen carefully to children, understand their point of view, their wishes and desires and do our best not to control, and direct their lives, but empower and free them to grow in their own direction. Rather than mold our children into the desired shape, we should try to bring out and nurture what is already there.”
Sounds like a good theory, right? Yes.
But now it’s time we take a look at why it’s so important to be an authentic parent, and the benefits it can have for us and for our children:
Reason #1: Authentic parents show interest
Parents tend to get a little excited, and overzealous about the idea of their kids having similar interests as themselves. Well, kids aren’t always destined to be little versions of ourselves, which means we shouldn’t try to shove our own interests and passions down their throats and hope for the best. No, a far better strategy is to show genuine interest in the things that they like and value. That means when they talk about their passions, you have to lend a listening ear…and mean it, too!
“Authentic parents listen to their children to find out what interests them. They want to understand what it is like to be them and then support them in developing their interests,” says Dr. Joseph.
Learn more about the benefits of being an authentic parent as according to Dr. Stephen Joseph! Click next for more!
Reason #2: Authentic parents see the value in a child’s individuality
“Authentic parents do not try to force their children to fit their expectations. They are curious and excited to meet an original person,” claims Joseph. “They assure their children that they are loved for who they are, just as they are. They give their children the freedom to be themselves.”
If you want to be a genuine, honest parent, you have to work and help cultivate your child’s sense of self! The result is happier, more expressive child, and a truly accepting parent.
Reason #3: Authentic parents allow kids to find their own path
One other reason being an authentic parent is so beneficial for your children, is that it leads to them being able to find their own path to success and happiness. In turn, that leads to them being more self-sufficient and capable of being emotionally stable, and mentally sound.
“Authentic parents let their children find their own path in life. This does not imply passively looking on at all that they do, but getting involved practically, offering advice and being there for them emotionally,” claims Dr. Joseph.
“They know that the world of their children may be vastly different from their childhood world and that their children need to develop the skills to navigate the world of the future, not that of yesterday,” he adds.
[H/T] Psychology Today
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