Your first followers and biggest fans

Several friends around me vow never to have kids because they know how much bad parenting can hurt from personal experience and don’t want to wield the power of “ruining my kids’ lives.”  I see parenthood as the easiest way to experience unconditional love and a second chance at healing wounds from your childhood. 

How are your relationships with your parent or your kids?   No matter what they are right now, every child starts wanting to be like their parents, wholeheartedly loving them, and wanting to be loved.  

curaJOY surveyed more than 1700 families in North America, Greater China, and South America last Fall, and some of the responses will break your heart.

“I wished my parents knew more about me, my characteristics, my interests. And wished we interacted with each other like friends and explored the world together.” (from a 55-year-old man)

“I wished my parents hadn’t given up on me.”

Having a secure, emotional-bonded relationship with parents is one of the top protectors against mental illness.  Our perception of ourselves, others, and the world are shaped by our parents—How they treat themselves, what gets our parents’ attention, and when and how they show us love.  We are built with a need to connect and be accepted.  Much of our internal dialogue, even as adults, are remnants of what we’ve heard throughout childhood.  In infancy, parents literally are children’s sun and moon, holding the ultimate power over food, lodging, boundaries, etc.   As kids grow up, their physical dependence on parents lessens, but their emotional needs—the need for their parents to think they’re good enough; that they’re important and worth their parents’ attention; that they’re loved, accepted, and desired–never cease. 

Parents are often overwhelmed just getting through life with school, lunches to pack, careers, mortgage, etc. to the point that husbands, wives, and kids all become roommates who may carpool, eat and live together but all have separate lives. Maybe instead of posting our lives on social media and soaking up others’ presentations of their lives, we follow our families first, take the initiative to make discoveries together, and share experiences—Let your actions show that your family relationships are worth maintaining.  Love and accept your kids no matter what because it’s a perilous world out there, and it may be hard for them to get it anywhere else.   

The ever-increasing social media platforms have not given people a truly increased sense of connectedness.  In fact, loneliness is a growing global problem.  1 in 3 adults is lonely.  The odds are even more unfavorable if you’re a caregiver, LGBTQ, or low-income.   So, starting today, spend some time getting to the lives of those closest to you.  They were your first followers and biggest fans. Even if they’re already teenagers or young adults—even if you haven’t called in ages, find out how they’ve been spending their time, how they’re feeling (and don’t take “I’m fine.” For an answer), and make yourself relevant in their lives with continuous engagement.  Find a project to do together. Relationship means interactions, and these relationships are too important to let fizzle and die.

Caitlyn Wang

Caitlyn Wang

Caitlyn Wang is a global business leader who has, for more than 20 years, led marketing and product development teams in China, Taiwan, and the US to bring products from concept to market for companies like Harman, Acer, and Amazon. At Johns Hopkins University, Caitlyn’s work with gifted and neurodivergent children gave her an intimate look at how these challenges affect families and their wellness, but it’s her first-hand struggles parenting a mod-to-severe autistic child that motivated her to seek a root-cause solution for families like hers. She believes empowering children with the right EQ skill set is an investment in how society can create a generational shift in mindset and behavior. “We are changing the world, one child at a time,” says Caitlyn.


0 0 votes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

User Stories

My parents only cared about my grades. I think they may have been depressed while I was growing up. Definitely, no one practiced self-help techniques or knew about them in my family.

I am glad that I got help. Behavior therapy was like having a second teacher that goes to your house, only they don’t teach math. They teach you coping skills. Coping skills are methods used to calm yourself down in stressful situations. I learned coping skills very easily, as coping

I have always been very anxious. I don’t know where it started, but from a young age, I wanted to control/make sure that everything in my life would be alright. This has caused me to have anxiety attacks where my heart rate can go up to 170 bpm. During that

Easy Video Reviews

{{trans(`You have no camera installed on your device or the device is currently being used by other application`)}}
{{trans(`Please try visiting this page with a valid SSL certificate`)}}
{{trans(`You can record up to %s minutes, don't worry you will review your video before sending`, time(preference.max_video_length))}}
{{trans(`You can record up to %s minutes, don't worry you will review your video before sending`, time(preference.limits))}}
{{trans('Uploading video...')}}

{{trans('Upload video')}}

{{trans('Drag your files here or click in this area')}}
{{uploader.file}} {{uploader.size}} x
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x