Have you ever tried to push a fully inflated beach ball under the water and hold it there?
You can only hold it beneath the surface for so long. Sooner or later, your strength will give out, and the ball will pop back up.
It’s a lot like parenting. How so?
Well, to answer that question, we’ve invited Milan and Kay Yerkovich back to our microphones. They were with us a couple of weeks ago to discuss how we develop a deeper connection with our spouse by understanding their love style and ours.
During our program, we’ll turn that concept toward parenting and explore how those same love styles impact how we interact with our children and how our children interact with us.
In our first conversation, Milan and Kay talked about the coping mechanisms we develop in childhood to avoid relational pain. We not only bring those patterns of behavior into our marriages, they pop up in our parenting as well.
Like a beach ball.
Say you grew up with angry parents. The experience may have left you feeling determined not to express anger to your own children. And, for a period of time, maybe you don’t. But, sooner or later, a beach ball of anger you’ve been holding under water for years can easily come popping up to the surface.
The same is true of our love styles. Our tendencies as avoiders, pleasers, vacillators, controllers, or victims will come out in how we parent our children. Those same traits will also show up in how our children respond to our parenting.
The hope is to raise a child who is a “secure connector.” That goal is achieved when children are raised in a home where they’re taught to bring their difficult emotions into relationship. That helps them learn to manage their emotions appropriately as they grow up.
As with most other aspects of parenting, a child’s well-being starts with the parent’s well-being. If you’re a secure connector yourself, you’ll have fewer emotional beach balls popping up in your parenting, which will allow you to emotionally engage with your children and empower them to handle their emotions in a healthy way.
And that is a learning process for most moms and dads … even for Milan and Kay, now experts in this area. “Instead of changing our kids,” they said, “we really had to look at ourselves and ask, ‘Where are we lacking as secure connectors? Where do we need to grow to be better parents?’”
To learn how to grow in your parenting, tune in to our program “Understanding Your Child’s Love Style.” You can listen on your local radio station or anytime online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.