Monday, September 28, 2009

Are You Like Your Parents Were?

I heard it again this last week:
"I'm turning into my mother, the way I'm acting with my kids!"

And, as I usually do, I asked, "Is that good or bad?"

And I got the typical answer: "I don't know. Some ways good, but others bad."

We are so often so tied up in worrying that we'll harm our children and stepchildren that anything seems dangerous. If we punish too severely, we're afraid we'll warp them; if we're too lenient, we're afraid we'll spoil them. Then there's the fear of the horrible DHS knocking at the door to confuse everything!

With all these concerns about how we raise our kids, the most personally upsetting is the fear that we'll turn into your own parents. Why is this so dreadful? Maybe it's because we'll feel like liars or imbeciles if we go back on that vow we made at age 16 that "I'll never be like you!" Or maybe it's because we're secretly afraid our kids will turn out to be just like us with their kids!

Back then, they were the enemies, or at least the watcher to be outwitted and out done! But the situation is very different now that we are the parents - the jailers, the spoilers of fun. And the question has to be asked:

Were we wrong 'way back then? Were our parents actually right in all their rules and regulations that cramped our style? Were we as dimwitted as our kids seem to be sometimes? We sure felt smart at 16, didn't we?

So here's the question for you:
Are you becoming like your parents? and 
Is that good or bad?

Let's brainstorm a bit. Click on the "comments" link below this post and tell us if you've followed your parents' lead or if you've gone another direction. Then tell us a little of why you've done which ever.

I'll give you a week to enter your thoughts, then we'll digest them and see what they all mean.

See you in a week,
STEPcoach

3 comments:

Becky W said...

I don't think I parent the way my parents did. They were both there and a part of my life, but were not really involved in my life. They were big into giving commands (don't touch, pick up your room) but seemed unsure of how to give guidance. Thankfully I sought out wise and godly mentors during my teen years that really helped shape who I am.

My husband and I both are very involved in our son's life and activities. Because of circumstances, we are limited in how involved we are in my stepchildren's lives, but we do as much as we can. We both try to provide guidance and direction to all our kids. We see parenting as a responsibility and a privilege.

sphericalfrictionlesscow said...

I hope that I've taken the best parts of their parenting and added many of the pieces that I felt were missing. Having been a stepchild has definitely affected my stepparenting specifically, and I understand my own stepmother better now by seeing some things that I couldn't have known at 8 or 12 or 18.... The relationship with a biological child of a very different age is simply very different, and I work to overcome the feeling that I'm not entitled to show affection for my stepson because I'm very affectionate with my son. I hope most of all that I'm a better guide to both, rather than the authoritarian home I grew up in.

Libby Peterson said...

No, I believe that I am a much better parent than my parents were, especially my mother. My mother was always and still is an incredible secretive person. A hypocrit who forced us to attend church everytime the doors were open and yet outside of church did not exhibit what was being taught. Unfortunately, my children are having to experience this first hand as the State has removed my children from me and placed them with my mother. This of course is the lesser of two evils, but how is living with a woman, who is never home because she works three jobs, lives with a man that is not her husband a better environment for my children?

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