TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

If parents showed more of themselves, would kids develop better, healthier coping skills?

I have been trying to determine a cause to why so many children, teens and young adults take to self-injury, drugs, sex, or eating disorders.
I believe that if their parents opened up more about their struggles, and their ways to deal with the stress of life, their children would be better equipped to find safer ways to cope with life.

So, if you are a parent, do you think that letting your children see you as less than perfect is something you could do? Knowing that by watching you struggle and fight to be better, that they would be better for it?

And kids, do you think that some of our coping skills are learned from our parents? If things changed, do you think it would help us?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Aug 3 2012: Yes. I believe the parents simply are/must be the primary source of coping skills. Otherwise, you'll see kids copying what their friends use as coping mechanisms.

    As a parent, your children will realize your imperfections when they grow up. They'll either imitate them or try to be far from your example. It is all a matter of giving them the right set of morals in childhood to work with in young/adulthood. In doing this, the child filters what is good from the people they meet, and choose the right people to be with. Because, I can meet your five closest friends and already know who you are and even guess your mechanisms.

    The parents' presence will make all the difference. And the effects and symptoms of bad parenting show up in adulthood. Each family dinner(activity) will make a difference. I believe you are right that being open and having a close relationship with your kids does equip them well. Just.. you know... equip them with the right skills. (Don't teach em to get a pack of smokes. =.=")

    As someone who doesn't have children, I don't know diapers. But as a child, I do know a bunch of things my parents could have done differently. It falls upon me to correct the imperfections they passed on to me. But I am thankful they did their best. (I'm sure every parent does.) And I am even more thankful that all their efforts made me turn out fine.

    Actually, you could look into your own history. Were your parents always there to learn from? What kind of skills did you acquire with/without them?
    I hope I helped(even if its just a little bit). :D

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.