7 Habits of Emotionally Healthy Parents (Part 5)
Emotionally Healthy Parents Are Curious
I’m not to sure where I picked this thought up but I want to throw it out there as a topic of conversation and, perhaps, a confession of sorts. Here it is…
"Curiosity Is Not Healthy"
Growing up as a child I was quite curious. As a child with unexplainable curiosity, which would be described as ADD today, I was constantly into things.
There was no diagnosis for ADD and no medication either when I was growing up (Unless you count “the belt” as medication) so I would constantly seek and explore. Somehow I began to view curiosity as a negative characteristic because every time I went exploring there was a consequence.
For example, “What would happen if I took the bone away from my dog?” Answer, she will bite you on the nose and you will run away crying! I will spare the other examples that helped me be curiosity adverse.
I remember reading about a monkey as a child, George, I think was his name. Always curious and always getting in trouble. And, of course we all know what happened to the cat that was curious, God rest his soul.
If you were to look up Curious in a thesaurus you would find more negative words associated with curiosity than positive ones.
Now that I am a parent with three kids I have this strange aversion to curiosity. Maybe it’s arrogance or maybe it’s my young ADD days or maybe it was George or the cat. Whatever the reason I have never associated curiosity with healthy parenting, until now.
I truly believe curiosity is an incredible attribute of an emotionally healthy parent. When we are curious we are open. Open to the possibility that we might not know it all or have all the answers. Open to the possibility that there may be a healthier way to talk to or respond to our children. Curiosity, to me, is a question mark when I often parent with an exclamation point.
Here Are A Few Questions To Keep Us Curious
What does my child need in this situation?
Why is my child behaving that way right now?
How can I best help my child through this difficult time?
When is the best time to engage my child when they are hurting?
Where can I learn more about healthy parenting ideas?
Be Emotionally Curious
As you can see, curiosity has both positive and negative connotations but I really believe curiosity can make a huge difference in how we parent.
Being curious about where our kids are emotionally is healthy. How do they feel about school, friends, and life in general? Our children are dealing with so much more than we dealt with as kids because of social media and the social status that comes with it. Being parentally curious help us remain emotionally open to respond in healthy ways.
Think About This Scenario…
How would we like it if our worst moment was publicized for millions to see? Although that may never happen to our kids it could happen to them. It would have never happened to us. Our children may live with a low grade fear of this simply because it is possible for them. Heck, we may also live with a low grade fear that it could happen to our kids! Be curious about your child’s social media.
Be curious about their friends.
Be curious about their grades.
Be curious about their day.
Be curious about their interests.
Be curious about their direction in life.
I like what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:22 because I think it has some good advice for parents. Have a look at The Message version and read it with the mindset of a parent, “The defeated, the demoralized––whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ––but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God–saved life.”
Let me paraphrase the paraphrase, “When my kids are defeated and demoralized I keep my bearings in Christ and I enter into their world, Like Christ did in ours, and tried to experience and see things from their point of view. As a parent I've become just about every sort of kid I can, from an elementary student to high school student, in an attempt to lead my children into a God–saved life.”
Keep This In Mind
Being curious as a parent means you are open to something new.
Being curious as a parent means you are open to the idea that, on occasion, you may be wrong.
Being curious as a parent means you are seeking the best advice on parenting.
Being curious as a parent means you are always looking for the best answer.
Being curious as a parent means you are
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com Image ID: 94592554 Copyright: Andresr