How many times, while watching your child, have you found yourself thinking that something they did or said reminded you of your own childhood? Everyone probably does this at one time or another and if you use this information it may just help you raise your child.
This can be useful for any number of reasons; perhaps it may be something like comforting them after a friend hurts their feelings, or being able to anticipate a result or reaction and preparing them for the outcome. This is not meant to imply that you will be able to do this all the time or even that you would if you could because many of these things are necessary life lessons.
However, it does give you a little edge when trying to think of something to make them feel better about what has happened or maybe even help you make the actual lesson a little clearer to them. Many times you will be able to give the "I know how you feel" speech and while they may not believe it at that particular moment, they will remember it.
You can also use it as a way to show them alternative actions for expressing their feelings. A father may look at his son and tell him that fishing used to make him feel better or even playing sports. As a mother you may tell your daughter that whenever something like this would happen you used to go play with your dollhouse. A dollhouse can be very effective when trying to show them how a fight with a friend might have been avoided or showing different ways to handle a situation. They can accomplish this perhaps by role-playing using the dolls and dollhouse.
As parents you want to keep anything that might disappoint, hurt or frustrate your child away. But you also know it is not possible and not even always practical to try. All you can do is your best and remembering your childhood can be a help.