I believe that everything in life has a purpose, and I believe that life is a process of learning. In life, we learn as we go, and in learning, we make choices based on our values and principles. Our values and principles come from the teachings of our parents, our teachers, our Church, our friends, and from our experiences in life. Our choices always have two outcomes – success or failure; happiness or sadness.
Life has been aptly described as “the school of hard knocks”, and true enough, we most of the time learn life’s lessons the hard way.
Take parenting for example. A famous quote by Rajneesh about motherhood says:
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
How true, isn’t it? A mother’s role is so important, so critical, and invaluable. Why? Because she will be raising a child into adulthood – nurture him, teach him, and prepare him for what is to come. The kind of person he becomes will be largely influenced by his mother. That is how important motherhood is.
Yet sadly there’s no training, no formal education on how to become a mother. Tragically, I am also unsure if children are properly taught at home, by precept and by example. The way I see it, many are just learning the ropes as they go.
The same is true with Fatherhood.
Is there something that we can do?
I came across an article that talked about the effects of criticism in relationships, and I have found another “Aha!” moment. The article talked about the effects of criticism to children, and it also talked about why parents criticize their children and their spouses. Below are some excerpts of the article The Most Common Parenting Mistake:
“Persistent criticism breeds resentment and defiance, and undermines a child’s initiative, self-confidence and sense of purpose.”
Persistent criticism is found to be destructive to relationships, with spouses and children. Some parents (and spouses) try to balance things by criticizing and then appreciating. But even then, even when there is a balance of praise and criticism, studies still show that it is unhealthy for both marriage and parent-child relationships.
According to the author, when frequent criticism persists, all other efforts to improve family relationships are likely to fail.”
Why is it that some people are more bent on criticizing others? Here’s what the article said:
“There are also deeper causes of persistent criticism, causes rooted in our character and life circumstances — how well we are able to cope with painful feelings in our own lives and how burdened we feel by the demands of raising our children. Parents who are critical of their children are often critical of each other, and less able to repair conflicts in their marriage and their work relationships.”
Is There Something We Can Do?
Are we guilty of doing this to our spouses? Our children? The people we work with? If our answer is on the affirmative, then it’s high time we do something about it. I believe that there’s so much that we can do, and the best way is to begin with ourselves. Let us be more conscious of ourselves – our weaknesses, our strengths. Let us evaluate ourselves and be more sensitive of others. I believe nobody intentionally wants to hurt anybody, especially the people we love. Let us continue to learn so we can improve and work from good, to better, to best.
I remember what Thomas S. Monson said …“Do not let the problem to be solved be more important than the person to be loved”.
Images courtesy of photostock and David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net