Why are parents unconsciously suffocating their children?
If you are from a South Asian country, you know that parents decide what they do and don’t. Major life decisions of the child(Even though he/she/they is no longer a child ), like career and life partner, are made by the parents on their behalf.
This is only its surface; parents can be controlling, judgemental, and nitpicking their children on every little choice of the child’s life sometimes.
This is not to say that parents are evil or something; they are just wounded adults who have their own unshare of unresolved traumas and are acting out in the best way they know. Most parents develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with their own trauma. These are passed down from generation to generation., creating a cycle of intergenerational trauma.
To understand what this is doing to the child, we need to realise that every baby is unique and has different likes and dislikes. The problem arises when parents look at the baby through their core beliefs, conditioned responses, religious, societal and traditional norms. Because the child is asked to fall in line whenever he/she/they try to do something that’s “not common”. They are also told that they are wrong/will be punished for their acts, the child starts to repress their unique expression. As we learn from various documented evidence that repression only leads to adverse effects and manifests in multiple ways, the joyful, playful child turns into a lifeless, dull adult.
This might sound grim, but it’s the reality for many people’s today; they have lost touch with their innermost authentic part. That’s the primary cause for a host of kinds of psychological, physiological problems. Be it a child or an adult, everyone has an innate need to be loved, cherished, and express themselves without the fear of judgment. When these natural needs are not met, and their realities denied, again and again, they build up walls and start restricting themselves more. Freedom is fundamental to every human being, freedom to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe space. Ideally, this should have been the homes but the world is far from ideal.
The truth is humans are curious beings having a primitive brain; as we grow, we want to explore more. Our ancestors were wanderers and pioneers; they were always experimenting and creating, discovering new things.
Even though life was more dangerous and more challenging back then, people were more adventurous. They felt needed by each other. They genuinely cared about each other and connected on a deeper level as they went through difficult circumstances together. The inventions, exploration and discovery kept their curiosity satiated; they laughed when they felt like laughing, danced when they heard a tune and ate when hungry. It wasn’t all butterflies and roses, but people were more in touch with who they really are, “Their primal genius”, and thus more in touch with nature.
This primal genius exists in each of us. Yet, due to the layers and layers of conditioning and restricting a child from early ages, this genius is suffocating and inhibiting people from being their unique selves.
That being said, we aren’t at the mercy of what happened to us in the past. There is hope both for parents and children to heal from their past traumas, unlearn harmful coping patterns and release beliefs that are no longer serving them.
While healing isn’t an easy process and takes a lot of time. It’s empowering to know that well-meaning parents were only acting out in such intrusive, controlling ways out of love for their children. They didn’t want their children to suffer the pain and agony that they went through. This understanding that our parents are also children with unmet needs and their own share of suffering puts things in perspective. creates a space for learning and connecting on a deeper level
Understanding your parents and yourself’s psychology can immensely help you navigate through life. Gives you a chance to heal yourself, your parents and breakthrough this generational trauma cycle. The empowerment of knowledge can do wonders for the whole family and improve future relationship dynamics as well. Not only mental but physical health also improves as a result of healing the trauma body (you might have forgotten many things, but the body keeps count of everything that ever happened to you )
If you want to empower yourself with a deeper understanding, connect with your parents/children on an authentic level. I highly recommended you to read the book “How to do the work” by Nicole Lepera; she’s known as the holistic psychologist on Instagram. I send my most profound gratitude to her for the impact she had on my life.