Barbara often throws insults at her 19-year-old, calling her a “bitch,” “lowlife” and a “bad mother.” But her words really struck a chord on last night’s reunion when Barbara called her daughter “unlovable” — that seemed even colder than some of the profanity she throws around!
“When a child grows up hearing that she’s ‘unlovable’ throughout her life, guess what behavior she’ll take on: that of being unlovable,” Dr. Carle says. “Our parents set our standards from our earliest years. If a parent tells a child she is ‘ugly,’ ‘stupid,’ or ‘unlovable,’ any young mind will see this as a truth. She will then, unconsciously, want to make that parent proud by becoming that standard. While this is not usually a conscious behavior, it is, nonetheless, the shoe into which a child deliberately attempts to fit.”
Dr. Carle says it’s important for parents to use positive reinforcement over negativity.
“Parents — never say demeaning things to your children,” she says. “They will grow up becoming whatever you predict they are. Instead, send your child honest positives, truthful messages about your child that he or she can develop and shine with!”
That sounds like great advice to live by — and we hope Barbara tries to steer Jenelle to healthy life decisions instead of driving her away!