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Find the Silver Lining in Parenting



Filed under : Lifesavers, News, Stages, family

By: Staff Report

Dr. Mark Seery, from the Department of Psychology at the University at Buffalo, discusses with Young Urban Moms how to always find the silver lining in parenting


Protecting our children is what we – as parents – should be doing best. We want to make sure they’re childhood is free of any pain, fear or harm. It’s the reason why we go to great lengths to enroll them in the best schools, programs and activities. We want the best of this and that and that, and all to make sure they’re better off than us.

But what if study shows that going through a little hardship isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, a little suffering might actually make them a better person. This isn’t to say that parents should purposely seek out ways to harm their families, but that there’s always a silver lining somewhere – always.

Dr. Mark Seery, from the Department of Psychology at the University at Buffalo, is one of the authors of the study, “Whatever Does Not Kill Us: Cumulative Lifetime Adversity, Vulnerability and Resilience,” and he shared with YUM a few great tips on how to cope with the bad side of parenting.

YUM: What were some of the negative experiences that the people – with the best outcomes – described?

Dr. Seery: We counted the total number of instances across all events that people had experienced. The key finding was not that certain types of events were necessarily associated with doing better or worse over time, but instead that total number of events mattered. People with a history of some events – not none, but not a high number, either – tended to be the best off.

Here is the complete list of events that we assessed:

  • Suffered a serious accident or injury
  • Were physically attacked or assaulted
  • Serious accident or injury of a loved one
  • Suffered a serious illness
  • Serious illness of a loved one
  • Witnessed someone (other than a family member) being injured or killed
  • Witnessed family member injured or killed
  • Been coerced with threats of harm to yourself or your family
  • Experienced forced separation from family/children
  • Had combat experience
  • Death of your spouse/partner
  • Death of your mother
  • Death of your father
  • Death of your brother or sister
  • Death of your grandparent
  • Death of your child
  • Death of a friend
  • Lost someone close to you due to suicide
  • Lost someone close to you due to homicide
  • Got divorced yourself
  • Experienced your parents’ divorce
  • Experienced serious financial difficulties (i.e., no money for food or shelter)
  • Experienced a major fire, flood, earthquake, or any natural disaster in your community
  • Suffered a loss in a major fire, flood, earthquake, or any natural disaster in your community
  • Experienced a tragedy or disaster in your community caused by people (a shooting, bombing, etc.)
  • Suffered a loss i

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