The hardest job you'll ever do is be a parent. Naturally, you want to be the best parent you can be. To 'get it right' we unconsciously model how we were parented.

Children learn through modeling. They mimic how a parents acts much more than by what a parent says. What example are you showing your children?  

Its great if both parents grew up in healthy supportive environments with love and autonomy. Expressing our individual selves in positive ways with meaning and purpose, plants the seeds and waters the garden for our children to grow healthy, strong, resilient and loving.

Ideally, family is the place where a child doesn't have to work at being his or her self. Its quite a challenge to grow up healthy and balanced if there was any form of emotional - let alone physical - abuse.  Much of what we think is normal parenting is abusive to a child that is too young to understand context or examine experiences from a variety of perspectives. 

How you spend your time with your child shapes how a child self-identifies. If you live a fast-paced life filled with responsibilities, many demands upon your time and attention you're emotional spent by the time you set aside time for your children. Your children then shape their lives through emotional effect of your challenges instead of the being empowered by the highest version of you and your good intentions.  

Comparisons and unrealistic expectations (perceived or real), for example, shames a child. "Why can't you be more like your brother", or anything that will sound like "shut up, sit down, be perfect" to a child beats down the vibrant, curious learner, joyful, self-expressive being with a child. A quiet (or not so quiet) desperation, a separation from a healthy sense of self, begins to set in. 

Toxic shame is spiritual bankruptcy. It's a virus that kills - literally and figuratively.   When children don't get loving time, positive attention and constructive direction they don't feel loved. A child who feels unloved cannot love. He or she loses his or her sense of connection and belonging.  Their spirit starts to whither and die.

Here are 3 behaviors that plant seeds for healthy development.

1. Allow your child autonomy.  Allowed them to be who they are, make their own decisions, voice their truth. 

2. View mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. Provide constructive feedback and help you child discover new and better ways to create a better outcome the next time around. Without a fear of making mistakes, children are able to face difficulties with spirit and courage. 

3. Distinguish behavior as separate from the child as a person.  If the child does something 'bad' be sure to identify the act as the bad, not the child.  Children take "You're a bad little boy" quite literally. They begin to learn that they are fundamentally flawed as a human being instead of a child worthy of love and belonging who made a mistake.

This is not about blaming parents. Parents offer the highest expression of love they have available to them.  Adults who grow up feeling unloved have little love within them to give. If you had a difficult childhood, in this compassionate understanding you can begin reshape the story of your childhood. You can begin to mindfully parent your children as you wish you were parented.

It takes Moxie, the fortitude to express a fuller, more complete, self-actualized version of you - the highest wholehearted and best version of yourself. And you can do it if you are willing to mindfully direct your parenting using the 3 tips above, instead of automatically reacting through the lens of what you modeled as a child. 

It's the greatest gift you can give your children. It's the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Valery is a Mentor, Coach & Author who provides an all in one toolkit and training course that give you the necessary tools and information to get over the unique challenges that come from success, fame and fortune. Championing those who have or aspire fame and/or fortune to maximize their potential is her calling. She's fully prepared to engage clients with her experience, extensive training, certifications. For more information please visit