Register | Login
Sign in with:
---------- OR ----------
Create Account | Login
Create account
As a Member You Can:
  • Join clubs to discuss your interests
  • Connect with people like you
  • Share information, seek advice, get support

in Mumbai (change city)
Select City
  • All
  • Delhi
  • New Delhi
  • Gurgaon
  • Noida
  • Mumbai
  • Pune
  • Banglore
  • Hyderabad
  • Ghaziabad
  • Chandigarh
  • Ahmedabad
  • Kolkata
  • Chennai
  • Coimbatore
  • Jaipur
select‌ stage
Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Related Articles for Raising Children > Formative Experiences

Formative Experiences

As we learn, so shall we do... but not necessarily....

Many folks bemoan the fact that with all the years spent in school, there are no classes on being a spouse or parent. Many others have said, "You need a license to drive a car, but there is no test for becoming a mom or dad."

While these statements are true, we are none-the-less taught how to be a spouse and we are taught how to parent. The teaching is by way of example and it comes at the hands of our own parents or caregivers from the moment we are born and then raised. We refer to this as formative experiences.

Formative experience is the everyday life we lived growing up and the know-how we develop as a result. More often than not, the know-how develops beyond our awareness. We simply react or do the things we do, based on a familiarity, having seen or experienced something like it before.

Apart from harm to a child in the moment of abuse, there is a lasting harm in that the abusive experience sets the stage for the child to act similarly when faced with a similar situation as an adult. There is a sense of "doing what comes naturally" (or as familiar) even if what one is doing is recognized as harmful. In the absence of having been taught appropriate means of managing child behaviour or resolving interpersonal conflict, some people fall back onto the strategies learned though formative experience. If you had proper, reasonable and decent formative experiences, that's good. If not, there is an elevated risk of managing parenting or spousal relationships as you experienced from childhood. Everything that happens to a person as a child, can effect how they manage life as an adult.

Interestingly, even when looking at divorce, if one's parents were divorced, whether low conflict or high conflict, there is an elevated risk that the child of those divorced parents will get divorced as an adult too.

The message here is powerful. From what children are exposed to, so shall they learn and so may they do. This is not to say all adults with untoward childhood experiences are doomed to repeat them, but it is to say that there is an elevated risk in much the same way as some people experience harm from second hand smoke while others do not.

Hence the rationale of eliminating child abuse and improving parental (spousal) relationships, is not just for the protection of children in the here and now, but as an investment in their future and other future generations.

The good news is that those folks whose formative experiences left them with questionable parenting or relationship skills can improve with help and support.

Adults who were abused or exposed to abusive behaviour between their parents as children, where it appears to be affecting life through parenting skills or relationships, are advised to consider counselling, parenting courses, marital therapy or the like. The goal of these strategies is to challenge the formative experiences in favour of adopting new appropriate, directly learned strategies for managing parenting demands and getting along with others.

There is an old adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks", so thank goodness, we aren't dogs! People can learn new tricks and can improve upon formative experiences of the past.

Adults with untoward formative experiences affecting adult life deserve better, their children deserve better and their children - the future grandchildren deserve better too.

To see other articles by Gary Direnfeld or contact him: click here

You may also be interested in:

Healthy Breakfast
Lessons From Children
Save Edit
Sort by Newest

Neeti.3 years ago
Very informative article
Sohail Dua.5 years ago
nice article, I would like to change myself for the better. thanks for making me a better person.
Manthan.5 years ago
but please define what constitutes child abuse ? How to discipline a kid without abusing him or harming him?
Tony S.8 years ago
wonderful article. keep it going. but please define what constitutes child abuse ? if slap my child is it abuse ? how far can a punishment harm or do good to a child ? pl. explain
Back to Previous Page   |   More on Raising Children Index

Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Do you learn more from experiencing things? What were your most formative experiences? And what did you learn?
view more >>
Raising Children
RE:Good Maid agency
Hello dear according to me you should not hire maid from an agency because ... - Anita    read >>

RE:Good Maid agency
hello dear this is very simple and you can select from google by just putti ... - Anaida    read >>

RE:Good Maid agency
Hi there if you are really looking for a maid in gurgaon area then please c ... - Anu    read >>

RE:Good Maid agency
Hello dear if you are really looking for a change then please tell me and i ... - Anushree    read >>

All tips on Related Articles For Raising Children
You ever wanted in one place.
No need to go anywhere else. No spam.

*No spam only genuine emails
Follow us on:

Featured Articles - Infertility | Baby Development | Health and Fitness | How to Get Pregnant | Parenting Advice | Weight Loss | Pregnancy Advice | Name Numerology
Baby - Baby Photo Contest | Lucky Names | Lucky Birthdates | Horoscopes | Chinese Calendar | Compatibility Test | Fun Zone
Parenting - Message Boards | Planning a Baby | Pregnancy | Parents of Babies | Baby Names | Baby Name Poll | Birth Announcements | Parenting Quiz
Family - Cooking Club | Love & Relationships | Beauty Tips | Kids Weight Calculator | Recipe Maker
General - Calorie Counter | Personality Quiz | Love Signs | Compatibility Quiz
Home | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Comments or Suggestions | Indiaparenting News Articles | Contact Us | Advertise with Us | | RSS
Copyright (c) 1999 - 2018 India Parenting Pvt. Ltd.

What are the common causes of constipation during pregnancy? How to cope with constipation during pr...