Humans are peculiar creatures. We are not only relying on genetics and ourselves to grow but also on the environment. In fact, the social circles we are brought up in and spend our time in mold our sense of self more than we’d sometimes like to admit. So, what role does upbringing play, especially when talking about Borderline Personality Disorder?
#1 The general effects of Childhood
From relationships to business, the way we are brought up defines our lives. The looming sense of dread for people like me was not inherent when we were babes, frolicking in the fields. Something had to happen, and unfortunately, it often comes down to those responsible for our care.
It’s not a coincidence that children of dysfunctional families are oftentimes the ones getting into trouble. In my case, I wasn’t too terribly traumatized. Yet, I still managed to wake up the BPD monster sleeping inside my mind. You just never know what action or inaction affected your child in a detrimental way, but you can try to minimize it.
Try to showcase to your child proper methods of handling difficulty and conflict. Show support and compromise, those good ways of solving the situation amicably. Make sure the child is in an environment where he knows that despite this little feud, everything is going to be all right. The struggle is a part of life, after all.
#2 Impact on Emotional Growth
When the parents are not well-versed in communication and emotion management, the child can turn sour. In some cases, like mine, they develop BPD. This isn’t to say I blame my parents for my mental health being in the gutter for most of my adult life. On the contrary, it has been a valuable opportunity for me to recognize unhealthy behavior. Because of this, I was able to start improving on the things I was terrible at.
Some potential detriments on the emotional part include volatility and lack of self-confidence. That’s why it’s crucial for parents to be at the forefront of their child’s education and training. I would love to see people teach their kids DBT skills. Furthermore, the youth these days could use some serious support. The fake smiles cover too many faces.
Something that really turned my emotional self into a curled-up ball was the inability to affect anything in my life as a child. All the changes happened without my consent, and without notice more often than not. This left a permanent wound on my soul. A wound that makes it so I have a difficult time with any change, and I become vindictive when ‘oppressed’. And I mean perceived oppression since I prefer to have complete control over every aspect of my life. You can guess what that has done to my mental health.
#3 Teaching (Un)Healthy Habits
Another thing to really put an effort into is to teach your child proper, healthy habits. Things like respecting boundaries, cleaning up after yourself, and coming home on time. True, the kiddo might not like you for upholding these rigid rules, but they will thank you in the end. As cliche as it sounds, I truly believe so.
Don’t take it overboard though. My demanding inner voice grew into quite a troublemaker over time. As I was pushed toward perfection in my childhood, it eventually became a self-imposed habitual reminder. Be faster, be better. And guess what, it turned into ‘you are not good enough’.
One important note I’d like to add is that you need to take care of how you interact with your partner. The children watch, and they learn. If you are cold and dismissive, even disrespectful, so will your child be in the end.
I know this from experience, as my parents rarely showcased any relationship examples for me. There were no hugs, no kisses. I can’t even recall a gentle smile or a playful tap on the rear. This then meant, that in my adult relationships, I didn’t know how to deal with closeness. I got panic attacks when people tried to embrace me. And when I married, my husband had to redo the whole intimacy wiring in my brain. I’m proud to say I finally learned to cuddle comfortably!
#4 Calibrating the Moral Compass
How are your choices in life? Could they be better, or are you sure this is the way forward? Are you absolutely certain of it? Those choices, the life events, and how you handle them, transfer themselves into your child’s memory banks. If you deemed it fit to toss that candy wrapper on the ground, you can be sure your child will do the same. We are mimicking animals, after all.
Giving children the basic moral guidelines is crucial to a proper society. This, again, shouldn’t be taken into a zealot-level brainwashing. There’s no need to imprint all your personal beliefs and political positions on a child. Let them learn that on their own. Your job, as a parent, is to provide them with lots and lots of opportunities and exposure. Nothing more.
Of course, don’t take me wrongly. Keep it age appropriate and clean. I’ve seen enough dubious moral choices while following the whole Drag Story Hour controversy. Children should be allowed to be children. It is just irresponsible for parents to bring them in contact with blatant adult material, events, and other things.
In a Nutshell
Parents’ effect on the child is undeniably an important thing to keep in mind. All of us wish for the best for our children, for the world’s children. As adults, it’s our responsibility to guide the youth to a proper way of living. And I mean proper in the way of living a respectful, graceful life. No turning into a criminal now, please!
While I do not have children of my own, and will likely never have, I can give my input as a human being. I can attest to the ways my upbringing affected me. And I can try to warn the parents of the world not to go down those roads.
Folks, you matter. You are not your child’s friend, you’re their guardian and caretaker. Conduct yourself with the proper mannerisms and esteem, imprinting healthy habits into your child. Give the kiddo plenty of opportunities to explore the world, the whole world. Not just your point of view. And allow them to develop into amazing human beings, full of appreciation and confidence in themselves.