Your parents' parenting

Esther - posted on 04/16/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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What parts of the way your parents raised you do you plan to emulate and what things do you think (or hope) you'll do differently?



I was raised by two wonderful parents. They were fairly strict with me and placed a huge emphasis on manners. I think I will do the same with my son. They were also very loving parents and I knew they were in my corner no matter what, which is another part of their raising of me I would hope to pass on to my son.



On the other hand, my parents always thought I should be the best at everything I did and if I fell short of that they were disappointed. It wasn't ill intentioned. They just thought the world of me so if I fell short of the best they figured I must not have tried hard enough. The result of that was that I stopped trying in many ways. It was better to not try than to try and fail. At least that way I could still be perceived as "fabulous", albeit lazy/unmotivated etc. I hope to instill in my son that trying and sticking with something is more important than the ultimate result.



That being said, if I do my job half as well as my parents did, my son should count his blessings.

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Nikki - posted on 04/17/2010

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I wasnt so lucky when it came to my parents parenting skills, but in a way I am grateful because they made me want to be a better person for myself and my children. I grew up at a very young age and started working really young in order to save enough to move out the first chance I got, I became very motivated and devoted to my studies and my job so I could be succesful later on. Things I learned;

1) both my parents dropped out and struggled financially. I learned to stay in school to study hard and focus on my future

2) My parents fought day in day out since I can remember and always told us they were staying together for the kids, when they finally split I was 26 my brother was 22. I learned that yes it's good for children to have a mom and dad present , but ones who could stand being in a room together and that showed affection would be much more beneficial then scaring the kids constantly. I learned that I wanted to be stable and secure in my marriage before bringing kids into the mix. I am very happy with my decision. To be honest I believe by husband and I will last, we have been through alot of ups and downs and have always sat down communicated and resolved our issues, but if it doesnt, we will part amicably and never put our children in the middle. Also my dad had an affair for 7 years ( why drag something on he could have just ended it with my mom and save her the heartache)



3) My mom is a full blown alcoholic; we have tried numerous upon numerous times to help her, but she fully believes she doesnt have a problem and that pounding back 2 bottles of sherry in her closet is normal. She has lost alot ; jobs, my dad, our respect and soon to be us and her grandson, with whom she is only allowed to see sober, which is rare. I learned I will never fall down the same path and if Im stupid enough to do so I will seek help and never let my children grow up in that kind of environment, it tore me apart, I will never let my son see that.

4)My dad never told me he loved me, never calls, and always told me I was never going anywhere and that all my choices were wrong. I learned to be supportive and loving to my children. I tell my little boy I love him every chance I get and when he learns something new I tell him how proud I am and how smart he is( eventthough @ 10 months he doesnt understand me) I will always show him I believe in him and how proud I am. I dont know how I couldnt shower him with love all the time.

5) We never sat down to a family dinner or went on family excurisons. Ive learned that I will make time to spend as a family and put my children first. I've always dreamed of the day when Id have a family and we could sit for dinner and discuss the days events. It's the little things in life that make the biggest impacts.

6) My parents could care less what I did and or who I did it with. I have learned I will pay more attention to my kids lives and set boundaries and rules, I won't be super strict but I won't let them have free reign either, they need parents and Im not going to slack off and make them be who I should be.

7) I started working @ 14 and learned the value of a dollar. My children will work, but school is most important, they will have part time jobs I believe working is very beneficial and will teach them if they don't study hard that they will have to work even harder later on to be financially stable. I also want my children to have after school groups/sports/activties they can be part of.



Just because I didnt have the a great upbringing , doesnt mean Im going to just give in to the stereotype. I want to thank my parents for showing my what it is I don't want my children to experience. As the saying goes whatever doesnt kill you makes you stronger!!!

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Lady - posted on 04/18/2010

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In many ways my mum was great mum but there is a lot I would do different to her. She always allowed me and my sister to give up whenever we wanted to. Whether it was dancing classes and instrament or college. She never really encouraged us to keep going when things got a little tough and I don't think it really set us in good stead for life because there are times when you just can't quit but as a child this was something I never learned. I was scouted by the scottish olympic gymnastics team but none of my friends were so I didn't want to go, my mum didn't make me and then my friends went in the huff and quit gymnastics altoghther and so did I. If my kids show that much talent in any field there is no way I would let them quit unless they were completly miserable.
Plus after my mum got divorced I think she was never happy on her own and felt she needed a man. When one came into the picture I don't think she put my sister and I first all the time and instead put her latest man before us which is something I think no mother should do. She suffered from depression at times and looking back I see that sometimes she was probably doing the best she could and as an adult I try not to hold any resentment towards her I will say I learnt some great lessons from her - good and bad.

?? - posted on 04/17/2010

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My parents did well with the 4 of us. Mom always made all of us feel loved and gave us plenty of attention. Dad would spend the time he wasn't at work playing sports with us. Mom says that Steve and I (the two oldest), we never went anywhere without a book in one hand and some sports object in the other hand. The younger two, well, they got Steve and I to carry their book and grab an extra glove, ball or golf club for them.

We were always taught that telling the truth will make things easier. Working for what you have and earning what you get will make you appreciate it all so much more. The more you have, does not mean the better you are. Mom really encouraged us to be aware of our surroundings, tolerant and helpful - reach out, be generous and never be afraid to dig in and get dirty to help someone. And she always told us, the only stupid question is a question that goes unasked.

I plan on passing those things onto my child. He will know we'll always support him in every aspect of his life, no matter what he wants to do. And we will help him earn the what he needs in order to achieve his dreams. We will help him as much as we can, as long as he keeps up his drive and ambition and is equally as motivated as we are.

ME - posted on 04/17/2010

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My parents did a pretty great job...I always felt like I could do whatever I wanted with my life and they would support me. I knew they would never walk away from me, no matter what I did, and I think that helped me not need to test the boundaries (if you know what i mean). They encouraged us to be active, social, well-educated, thoughtful people. They taught us that it is more important to do what you love and surround yourself with those who love you, then to have material possessions. They taught us that family would always be there for us, and it always has been. I appreciate all of this, and becoming a mother has made me appreciate it even more, because it is no small feat, particularly not, I imagine, with 5 children.

They are VERY conservative people, and quite religious (catholic; we went every sunday and on all of the holy days) they are very judgemental of my siblings who have left the church. They are hard to talk to and very set in their ways. Niether of them deals well with conflict, so communication in our family was a little messed up. My mom sometimes made us feel like the only reason to do anything was to make her look good. As a consequence, I had a hard time making decisions for myself for a long time. My mom had a shitty relationship with food; myself and all three of my younger sisters have had serious issues with food at some point and continue to deal with those issues occasionaly to this day. I know that my parents did their best tho, and I don't hold anything against either of them. I will attempt to hang on to the good, and be aware of any signs of the bad creeping in...

Johnny - posted on 04/17/2010

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Krista, I shop at Superstore too. And so do most of the rest of our family and friends. She's really silly with this stuff.

Krista - posted on 04/17/2010

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Carol, your mom thinks that only trailer trash shop at the Superstore? That is absolutely hilarious!!! (And yes, that's where I shop. And no, I don't live in a trailer.)



I think my folks did a lot of things right -- they were strict with us, but we did a lot of stuff together as a family. They taught me to be open-minded and to look past race. My best friend was of Indian descent, and many years later, someone asked me if my parents were okay with me being best friends with someone of a different race. I looked at them, startled -- I had never even thought of Bhavani as BEING of a different race, because it was such a non-issue with my family. I knew her parents were from India, that her mom wore these gorgeous dresses called "saris" (which we would try on when we played dress-up), and I knew that my mom was always bugging her mom for recipes, but that's about as far as it went. They were very open minded and intellectually curious, and very, very loving. They were huge on music and books and having fun. I remember many a party at our house, with everybody (including us kids) dancing along to Neil Diamond.



My sister and I were taught to be well-mannered. And they were both big on us trying new foods -- we definitely weren't kids who subsisted off of fish sticks and chicken nuggets. I know a lot of adults now who are really picky, and in social settings, it doesn't reflect well on them. So I'm grateful that my folks developed sophisticated palates in us. They were very liberal and a little bohemian, but had that deep pragmatic streak and didn't put up with back-talk from us.



I do wish my folks had taught me to be a bit more focused. I did really well in school, but that was just due to naturally being rather bright (I have no idea what's happened to me since then! LOL!) But they never talked with me about what I wanted to do after school, and didn't really give me any guidance on how to focus towards that particular goal.



I also wish they'd handled their divorce better. There was a lot of acrimony between them afterwards, which continues to this day. It was why I went away to get married instead of having a family wedding. If (heaven forbid) anything ever happened between me and Keith, I would really do my best to keep any negative thoughts about him to myself, and to remain on civil terms with him. Kids shouldn't have to feel like they have to choose sides.

Sarah - posted on 04/17/2010

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Hmmmmmmmm......there's a few things my parents did that i would not want to repeat with my own kids.
My Dad put alcohol first, which is obviously not a good thing! Also, he would tell me i would amount to nothing blah, blah, blah. Now that tactic worked with my sister, she set out to prove him wrong.....i on the other hand, thought "yeah, you're probably right" and i never did amount to much! lol!
Once i got older though, i got extremely close to my Dad. He's one of my best friends despite his problems.

My Mum's only "crime" i think was loving us too much! She would do everything for me, i was quite spoilt in that way. While i didn't get all the THINGS i wanted, i never had to clean up, or do chores or anything like that. That led to me eventually moving out when i was 21 and getting a real shock to the system!! I didn't even know how to use the washing machine!
So, i'm crap at all the domestic side of things because i never had to do any.

I did get away with a lot of stuff too. Because my parents split up, it was just me and Mum through those teenage years, i know if my Dad had been living with us, i wouldn't have gotten away with half of what i did!!

My family is a bit weird to be honest! lol!
I feel very loved by them both though, i definitely want my kids to feel that same love, but with a few more boundaries and rules set out too.

Actually, this thread has struck a bit of a nerve, it's made me wonder about the things they did and the things i do.
I think they did the best they could, they were by no means perfect, but they tried. I guess that is getting repeated with my kids, i don't always know what i'm doing, but i love my girls and i'm doing my best.

Tah - posted on 04/17/2010

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my parents taught me many things..like about God and prayer..which i appreciate to this day. they showed me how important it is to help and love your neighbor..if you can imagine a family who opens their doors to everyone, then you have my parents. Even if we didnt have money for big b-day parties, my mom would cook you a dinner and bake you a cake, and it didn't stop with family. Kids in the neighborhood who my mom knew didnt have the structure or a good home life, she did the same for, my mom would buy extra clothes and socks and and what have you and if someone needed it,she would provide it to them. She also taught me to read between the lines of what people are saying or doing. Like if a person is bascially calling you stupid in a nice way, to recognize that...lol....she on the opposite end taught me that there are 3 sides to a story, so try not to judge people by that. she taught me that having a backup plan would always come in handy..like a private savings in a marriage, no matter how loving..an education to fall back on, to always give your best, and that we are smart, beautiful and can be whatever we want, no matter what choices we make. she encourages our talents and still to this day encourages us to do what we want to do in life..which is why i am writing my book. She also taught me how to always look good(at 62 she just had her lawyer and her doctor hit on her this week..lol) how to be a good wife and mother, keep a house and work at the same time and how to put others before yourself.



My father taught me i don't have to be loud and obnoxius to be strong. He taught me how to walk away from things that i know i can fight to the death, because i know me and that's enough. My father was strong but quite, but if you did get him talking..like when he was preaching..whoa buddy...lol...He taught us a strong work ethic, he worked 3 jobs and went to school when my mother and he were first married and stating thier familly, he showed me what a man is supposed to be and how they are supposed to treat their families. He was strict and then i didnt understand, but with 6 girls and a son and then raising my 3 cousins at the same time, he wanted to be sure we were safe and had the best he could give us. They both together taught us discipline and restraint, and how to stand up for ourselves when people try to strip us of our rights. We learned respect for ourselves and others.



My parents weren't the easiest people to talk to, so that is one thing i try to change with my children. I want them to be able to talk to me and know that i won't judge them. I know we have things from our parents that we dont want to continue and may sometimes fall into that trap, but i hope i can avoid that with my children.





I will keep all these

Johnny - posted on 04/16/2010

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For the most part, I feel like my parents were good at parenting. I always felt very loved as a child, I knew that I mattered to them, they were quite strict and very serious about my behavior, and they kept me focused and motivated to do well in school.

I definitely wish to continue with my daughter the way in which they openly showed myself and each other affection. Manners and etiquette were very important and closely enforced and I completely believe in that. And I think that education is a big priority, so I will continue to strongly encourage and support my daughter in that area.

A few things I would do differently. My dad in particular was one of those people who doesn't think children should ever be "losers" (he's a bit of a commie). I never learned how to compete or strive for anything, and I don't think that has served me particularly well. I hope to encourage my daughter to try her best, and I will be there to encourage her to try her best and congratulate her when she does well. But I do not plan to tell her that it doesn't matter, because I learned the hard way that when you grow up, it really does. I never learned to really toot my own horn or that I WAS capable of doing great things. I want my daughter to know that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.

My mother has depression, OCD and ADHD. This really effected my childhood in ways that I did not realize until fairly recently. I never learned how to keep house. She never did it, so I never saw how to do it. I learned from room-mates and cleaning product commercials. I also never learned how to cook. I learned from following cook books and then my husband taught me. It seems like a small thing, but not knowing how to handle your own home is very inconvenient. My child will have chores and share in food prep so that she learns these skills.

My mom was also very snobby. She looked down on others quite a lot and really taught me that it was acceptable to be judgmental. I figured it out in high school, and got over it. But I definitely don't want to teach my daughter things like who the "low class" people are (smokers & women with poodle perms) or that people who drive Chevrolets are "below us" or that only "trailer trash" shop at the Superstore. Yeah. I'm not kidding. And if I find out my mom is telling my daughter stuff like that, we will be having it out big time!

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I feel like I had great parents too!



One thing about them; they practiced what they preached. They taught by their lifestyle.



Examples: Their words told us (my sister and I) to respect everyone and find the good in people. Their action: Daddy was/is heavily involved with volunteer work in a local prison.



Their words told us to appreciate what we have and be very giving of ourselves and possessions. Their actions: Didn't spoil us by getting us everything we asked for, and encouraged us to give our toys and clothes and money to the less fortunate. I remember going to volunteer at the local food bank with Daddy at a very young age. We also went shopping as a family every Christmas to pick out toys for a less fortunate family in our town. And my parents were never extravagant with their money. Modest home, car, clothes, etc and always shopped sales.



Their words taught us to take care of the earth, not to litter or be wasteful. Their actions: Daddy attached buckets to our bikes and as a family we would ride around the town picking up litter.



And then there's some religious stuff I could throw in there, but I'll leave at that. =)



As far as discipline goes, we didn't get away with anything! Even in college, Mama would call me and remind me not to be in a dorm room alone with a boy. That I feel was going a little far, but they were very diligent and strict and it paid off. My sister and I are both happy, healthy adults that contribute positively to society.



I hope I raise my daughter and other future children the same way.

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