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Side Effects....


I had the delightful opportunity to have breakfast with a friend that is a retired astronaut. While chatting I discovered that there are indeed many risks and side effects associated with space travel. Floating outside of the Earth’s orbit was described as the most phenomenal experience one could ever have. I was told, that it is a feeling that is really hard to describe in mere words. Yet, many people don’t realize the lingering effects that space travel can have on an astronaut. Studies have examined the effects of space travel on the skeletal and muscular system, human sensory and balance system, as well as on the blood and its components. The effects of microgravity or weightlessness are quite stunning. Nevertheless, astronauts are aware of the risks involved and the potential side effects that may occur.

Now, when it comes to our children I have a question. Are we aware of the side effects we cause as they travel with us daily? As we rear them, do we consciously stop to think about the impact we are having on their growth and development? This should be considered not only on a physiological level, but on all levels to include their emotional, spiritual, social, and psychological well-being. So, during this month of October let’s reflect on what some of the side effects can be for applying bad parental behaviors. Ponder this:

  • Ridicule can create self-doubt

  • Yelling can result in displaced aggression and withdrawal

  • Intimidation shuts down communication resulting in rigidity, bitterness, and silence

  • Comparing your children to each other creates a sense of low self-esteem and low self-worth, resulting in feelings of not measuring up to their siblings

  • Shaming a child can lead to depression, anger, and deep resentment

  • Criticizing usually results in great mental anguish and eats at a child’s self-confidence

  • Verbal put-downs usually result in irrevocable humiliation; once things are said to a child they can never be taken back and are often remembered throughout their entire lifetime.

As parents we should keep in mind that there are risks involved, which can result in lingering side effects that may ultimately make it difficult for our children to grow up to be secure and confident in their ability to function as an adult. Parenting does not come with a handbook, there are no guidelines, and there are very few unwritten rules. But unanimously, we all want the same outcome for our children and that is for them to grow up to be well-adjusted, responsible, successful, independent adults. Parenting is a life-long commitment and a good parent must actively engage in good parenting. As we get caught up in the day to day adventures of raising our kids, let’s be mindful not to fall into bad parental behaviors; because as you can see the side effects are way too great! Let’s work to give our children a phenomenal experience.

Wanting all of our children to soar and reach their full potential on their orbit in life,

Doc Mel ;-)


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