- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice
Your Parents: What was the worse thing they did to you?
Hindsight is 20\20 vision. If only one could see into the future, to see outcomes of decisions, think of the benefit!
Being a parent is the best and worse job and you do not know until you are in that role. Wannabe parents have theories about how to handle situations, things to avoid that their parents fell into that harmed their kids, you have an idealistic view of parenting. Being a parent is the ultimate 24\7 gig for basically the rest of your adult life, it is most intense for the first 18 yrs, however.
Parents come in all shapes and sizes, differ from gender and the era they were raised in, which heavily influences how they are parents themselves. Your parents backgrounds and how they related to their parents also heavily come into play.
My parents reflect an interesting mix. My dad never had a father, raised by an overbearing, demanding mother. He had to work for everything. Spent 28 yrs in the Army as an officer. My mom, came from a normal Canadian family but had an alcoholic father she despised.
Like all new parents, the sought to avoid the mistakes their own parents made (from their perspective) and yet, they fell victim to many of the same mistakes their parents had.
The worse thing my Dad to me for many years until age 10, were, spankings with a belt. These were not simple affairs of a couple of whacks, usually it was aggravated by my own attempts to escape usually on the bed or closet. Spankings occurred whenever I did not follow orders of Dad. My older brother seemed to avoid all this pain, which in teenage years created a great divide. Mom was my refuge. She was nurturing, love, usually took my side and defended me or actions. She never resorted to hitting. She would yell, sometimes. Her worse thing was smoking Pall Malls, a pack a day. She could manipulate people fairly well when she needed cooperation.
As boys, we complied with our Dad until Jr. High and HS. It was then my Dad realized that his "chickens were home to roost" from the parental actions of the previous 10 years. Our house during those years resulted in heavy arguments about he expected of me and what I refused to do. I knew he could do little, short of hitting me, which he never did. The usual issues then were over my long hair, which he hated, my clothes, which he disliked, my grades, which lacked for not trying, coming home late at night. His expectations of me were not my own, yet, he continued to pressure me.
Myself, I grew to dislike my Dad alot. I resented him for the spankings. Actually, I hated him for them. After the teenage years, the damage was done. Ingrained in my psyche. My brother had a much better relationship with him than I. We only could have small talk. I was, even as an adult, uneasy around him. The old wounds and feelings could easily come to the surface again with one wrong word. He seemed to know this. As a parent, he knew he had failed in some respects. I am sure he regretted it. But, he never said he was sorry or that he was proud of me or told me he loved me.
I guess that was Mom's job. A job she did very well!