Full text and summary of Fiona Douglas’ talk titled “How Did Your Parents Mess You Up?” at TEDxPuxi conference. In this talk, Fiona discusses the importance of parenting education and the impact of parenting deficits on children. She shares personal stories and examples to highlight the need for widespread parenting education.
Listen to the audio version here:
Was there anything that your parents said or did during your childhood that you wish they hadn’t? Was there anything that hurt you that left a scar you can still feel today? Perhaps you’ve come to forgive your parents for those moments of weakness because you know they loved you and did their best. Or perhaps you’re not sure about their love for you and you have to live with that uncertainty.
Every child is at risk of suffering in this world full of imperfect adults. And childhood scars cut deep, shaping our entire lives. I was speaking with Nana, my 89-year-old grandmother, about this talk and she started crying, telling me that her parents never told her that they loved her. I didn’t point out that the closest she’s gotten to saying those words to me has been a lots of love scribbled in birthday cards.
Because I know that she loves me. She’s just never felt comfortable expressing those words that mean so much to her. Even the best of parents have deficits in their parenting skills and those deficits cause children to feel unloved. And the lack of parenting education leads to unsafe parenting which can cause trauma and even death in childhood.