It’s been established that the Latino culture is attempting to break the chains of generational trauma – and it’s been long overdue.
I know many of us can remember moments where our own Latina moms were insensitive and failed to adopt the gentle parenting techniques that are increasingly becoming popular at this moment.
On the one hand, their behavior is understandable because they didn’t know any better. But on the other hand, it is also essential to recognize that certain practices shouldn’t make their way into your own parenting.
The fear and anxiety many of us had because of their mano dura most likely kept us away from experiences we were meant to have as children.
This is why our duty as the new generation of Latina moms is to ensure we are giving our children the best experiences.
Here’s how you do it:
Active listening goes a long way
Oftentimes, we believe we know what’s best and forgo listening to the needs of our children. But that’s the worst mistake we can make. After all, they are human beings (just a smaller version). Now, if you do take the time to listen to what they are telling you, you’ll realize that they will let you know exactly what will make them happy, hence giving them the best possible experiences. Of course, use your parental judgment and give in to their desires if you feel it’s right. As always, make sure there is a system in place that will work to help all parties involved come to a healthy compromise.
Expose them to cultures
Giving our children toys and gadgets isn’t necessarily the best way to make their childhood memorable. There are many other ways. For example, travel with them to give them the chance to become acquainted with different cultures. This, in the long run, will be more beneficial than you could ever imagine. It is essential that your children are aware of the differences around them and know how to maneuver around them properly. Travel is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Teach them the value of things
Children will want their desires fulfilled 110 percent of the time. However, that can’t always be the case. They need to understand that it can’t always be satisfaction and joy. There are just events that we won’t be able to take them to or experiences that we will have to say ‘no’ because of other external circumstances.
For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to take your family to Disney (a costly experience for the most part) if you need that money to pay rent. It’s not wise to become houseless for the sake of a vacation. So, it is essential you teach them the value of the dollar. At the same time, you can explain to them that joy can be achieved in inexpensive ways, which is when you should teach them about the value of the unadorned moments of life – where only their presence and nature make it all better. And there’s beauty in that too.
Be a part of their experiences
As much as we think our children want their independence, we need to be there with them too. No one wants to look back at their childhood and realize that their memories feature an absent parent. Not only is that cause for heartbreak, but it is also the perfect recipe for a lifetime of trauma that will, in turn, need countless hours of therapy. But that’s not going to happen because generational trauma is a subject of the past and because you will be there with your children every step of the way. Osea, don’t take it overboard either. Let them breathe.