Good parent, moderately bad parent

Tamara@15Parenting has very little to do with the way your child turns out, so you can relax.

You don’t have that kind of influence. Parenting has a lot less to do with how and who we become as adults than people–especially parents– would like to think.

Growing up is not directly related to events in childhood. Offspring and those who raise them often lead separately parallel lives. Admit it, once they hit their teens, you’re pretty sure they’re from a different planet. And, of course, you know in your heart of hearts that they feel the same about you.

Who you are is not an outcome of who you were as a kid or what your parents did to influence you. Short of major traumas, and I acknowledge those can be horrific and can deeply affect how you view the world as a grown-up, childhood is just a passing phase.

As adults, we are looking to rectify the missteps our parents made; we image that we have suffered damages even when we had non-interventionist parents. This, as I said, is not to trivialize the real traumas some children are put through. I am speaking of adults whose parents were benevolent and caring.

Childhood is not a magic era, even when it seems ideal and placid. You know that because everyone you know complains. Your analyst knows it because s/he spends hours listening. Very few of us enjoyed life when we were teenagers, for example. Elementary school may have been a difficult period for some of us.

Those who raised us with the best of intentions are put to scrutiny and scorned for their efforts. Most of us were able to ignore their advice and guidance while living under their roof, yet we look back on our days in the family unit with displeasure.


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