Raised by Wolves

Feb 14, 2020

Wolf & Son is all about family ties and the love bonds we share that unify us as a clan. Raising wolves is a multi-layered complex task. We are continuously reinventing and evolving our family dynamics and inter-personal relationships — this is a life long journey.

On Valentine’s day, as we celebrate love, romance and extend it to the love of family, I came to think about how so much of our upbringing and parental conditioning unconsciously molds how we behave in our most intimate relationships, the one with ourselves and with our significant others.

In today’s connected world of online dating, mass content on lifestyle trends, multiple parenting styles and #instamum influencers, there’s a skill to be learn and taught as a young child, so that we can better surf this new wave — that is emotional intelligence. This gives us the ability to recognise, process and discern our own emotions, using this inner-knowledge to empathise with the emotions of others, to regulate behaviours, to better communicate and to achieve our true desires in life.

As any other skill, this must be firstly learned, and then practiced. But sometimes this is a missing link on the parental upbringing, as some parents lack this inner-knowledge themselves and are unaware or unable to pass in along. When parents fail to notice or respond to the child emotions as they raise them, they are silently blocking feelings away. When children grow up with their emotions walled-off and they don’t have enough access to their feelings, they end-up doubting their own judgment and questioning their value. Children raised to not trust emotions and not to listen their inner voice, grow up sheltering themselves under a mask of ego, fearing speaking up their truth. 

Undervaluing your feelings has a predictable effect — you end up undervaluing yourself. That’s because emotions are the most deeply personal expression of who you are. When a child reaches out to connect emotionally and there’s a lack of response, this sends a clear unspoken message that reaching out to others feels wrong and it’s dangerous to be emotionally vulnerable. Ultimately this keeps you emotionally disconnected.

Children’s happiness is undeniably linked to the warmth and affection expressed to them by their parents. This has to do with oxytocin being released in the brain when we feel love and connection. It helps parents bond with their children, adding a sense of trust and support, making them less anxious to feel unconditional love.

As people grow from their childhood mind-set and they unconsciously bring into their adult minds the ego constructions, the inner-child wounds, the self-worth issues and the fear of intimacy, they ultimately condition their happiness and the success of their most intimate relationships.

What kids need the most from their parents is to feel truly seen. They want to know they matter. They want this as kids, and they want just the same as adults. Our hability to freely express emotions is what makes us feel deeply connected, lets our true-self be seen and allows the love to come in. We all want to be deeply seen!

© Words by Alexandra Mendes
W&So Branding Creative Director