Have you every really thought about how your parenting is going to affect your kids?
Like, really contemplate this?
Think about your own childhood, for a sec.
Did your mother every say or do something to you, as a small child or young adult, that you think affects how you parent your children now?
Did your mother ever make a comment to you that, though she didn’t mean for it to be hurtful, really broke your heart? Changing the way you did something for the rest of your life? Are you doing things differently with your child now, because of that comment? Or maybe you’ve repeated a similar comment to your child, not meaning to hurt them, but only trying to make them a better person/student/athlete/etc?
Did your father ever say or do anything that affects how you discipline your children today?
Did your father make you finish a task a certain way; so that now, whenever you give someone else a task to do, you have to make sure its done a certain way? Are you teaching that same strict rule to your child? Or, maybe you allow them to be more free willed with how they approach a task, because you didn’t appreciate the strict rules as a child?
Are you getting what I’m trying to say?
Your parent’s parenting style has probably had a big impact on the way you parent your children now, today. If your children are still young, little babies, the way your parents were to you, is probably going to affect how you are with your children as they grow older. Whether you want it to or not.
Do you ever find yourself saying the same things you heard your parents saying to you?
“Don’t you come crying to me if you get hurt. I told you to put your shoes on.”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake! Look at that mess!”
“For crying out loud! What have you done!”
This may be a funny way of understanding what effect your parents had on you, but it’s still a fact. The way your parents were to you, is similar to the way their parents were to them. It’s also a strong possibility that how your parent were to you, is going to effect how you parent your children as well.
Are you understanding the repercussions that your parenting is going to have on your children?
These are very, very, calm examples of how parenting can effect your child’s life, but there are so many more examples I could give to explain this point.
The actual point of all this is to try and help parents (me) realize that when we (I) act, behave, or communicate a certain way, its because that’s how our (my) parents taught us (me) how to do those things. By doing or showing us these actions, it became ingrained in our minds that this is how these actions are to be done, sometimes whether we want to do them that way or not. Or, we may go the totally opposite way, and become rebels against our parent’s parenting style, allowing our children to do things so much more differently.
Either way, it affects the way we parent.
We are also effected by the experiences we’ve had with our peers. But, parenting plays a much bigger roll in how a child grows to live as an adult, and how they function as a parent.
This point has come to my attention so much more recently. I have never before thought of how any or all of my actions could have such a huge impact on my children and their future.
I don’t think we need to regret any mistakes we’ve made, as we can always apologize and improve on any issues that we may need work on, but I can’t help but think of all of the possible mistakes I’ve made up to this point, especially the mistakes that I may have made, but not yet realized.
Introspectively, I know why I have good work ethic. Because my father told me as a child “Don’t half-ass it! If you’re going to do something, you’d better do it right.” Otherwise I would have to do it over, or I would feel like a failure when he did all over again himself.
I couldn’t do it my way, I had to do it the way he wanted it done. So, not only do I work to get the job done right in order to win approval through a job well done the first time, I also have an issue when someone does something differently than the way I think it should be done. I’m also extremely hard on myself if I make any mistakes.
As a child, and still to this day, you can find my mother in her bathroom, every morning, getting herself ready for the day. Big curly hair and a lot of make-up. Then she gets dressed in a nice dress suit or skirt, pantyhose, heels, and blouse. At least an hour or more, every single day, getting ready just to leave the house. Even if it’s only to go grocery shopping.
On special days, like family pictures or holidays at church, she would do the same to me, sans make-up. I would put on a pretty dress, stockings, dress shoes, and then she would do my hair. But, I remember going into her room and finding her every morning sitting in front of her mirror, getting ready. I dreamed of the day when I could be a big girl and wear make-up.
I started to do so as a pre-teen, starting with make-up, and then moving up to adding my hair to the morning agenda. Then outfits started to become important as well.
As an adult, it’s taken me about a year to get used to the idea of no longer wearing make-up before I leave my house. Even if I was going to the grocery store, I would have to put on full make-up and do my hair before I left my house. I will still typically do something with my hair before I leave, just so I don’t look like Medusa getting milk and bread. But I’m 37! I’ve spent the majority of my life covering my face and fixing my hair, because it’s what I thought needed to be done in order to look acceptable to leave the house.
Because of this new realization, I’ve found that I’ve become overly concerned and conscience of what I’m doing with, and saying to, my children since finally discovering this whole concept. It’s probably not healthy for me, to be constantly worrying that what I say to my children is going to affect them negatively later, but I don’t want to fuck up my kids.
And……This is not a new concept! People have known about this for years. Ask any therapist or psychiatrist, I bet they’ll tell you that this knowledge has been around for many years now. And is commonly a reason people seek out therapy in the first place, it’s just not realized until someone digs and brings up the root cause of the problem.
Personally, I think people in general don’t want to realize that a lot of the actions they portray can affect the entire future of their children’s lives. It’s a vicious and ugly cycle that’s going to continue until we open our eyes and realize the immense effect our parenting can have on our children.
I don’t want my daughter to think she’s got to dress herself up to “look” beautiful. I don’t want my son to grow up and be lazy because I get frustrated when he cleans, not doing it how I think it should be done, so I do it myself. I don’t want both of my kids to be spoiled because I wasn’t able to dress in the “cool” name-brand shoes and clothes, and so I make sure to buy them the clothes that they want, so that they’re not picked on like I often was.
Other issues like abuse; physical, mental, or sexual, can play a tremendous roll on how those children dealing with those issues grow into adults. Not only the way that they move through the world, but also the many lives they effect during their journey, including their own children.
I’m no psychiatrist and I don’t have any stats, but I can imagine that the reason there are parents who abuse their children is because those parents were abused by their parents themselves. Or often, someone close to the family, or a family member.
It’s a nasty cycle that continues, and without the willingness to see where the faults may lay as they become apparent, and seek therapy or treatment for those issues, the cycle is just going to continue. But, then at that point, one must understand that they are at fault. Which many people are not very eager to realize and then openly seek treatment for.
I can understand that, not wanting to be at fault for any issues. During my life I was always taught that if I was at fault for something, it meant I was usually going to get into trouble.
It’s all a complete mind-fuck, living life and then getting into this raising of children gig. It’s the biggest and most stressful responsibility that I’ve ever been apart of.
Though, parenting has also been one of the most rewarding paths life has given me, I am now afraid that as my children grow older, I will soon be privy to the actions of my parenting being shown to me in the decency of my children as they grow into adults.
What is your parenting doing to make your kids adults?
Wanna read some of life’s crazy moments from a mom that’s not quite sure what she’s doing? Head over to WhyMommaWhy.blog.
Thanks for reading!