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SundayKittens's avatar

Do you parent as you were parented?

Asked by SundayKittens (5834points) March 2nd, 2010

I’ve been thinking alot about this over the past few years after one of my graduate psych classes. We discussed the four general parenting styles and the correlation to how you were parented and how you parent later in life…you tend to model your mom and dad’s behavior, including their parenting style (discipline, nurturing, etc.).
So, as a parent, do you see yourself in the same category as your parents? If they were super strict, are you that way as well or do you rebel against it?
It all boils down to this: Am I destined to raise my kids the way I was raised? Can you REALLY adjust your own style or are you “programmed” to repeat your parents’ method?

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27 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think you can adjust your style, if you put thought into it. There were things I really liked about my mom’s parenting style (giving me loads of freedom, as long as I could prove I was being responsible with it), but other things that I will try very hard to avoid (like the volatility, criticism, emotional outbursts, etc.). I will say it’s tough to not fall into certain patterns, but as long as I’m self-aware, I try to avoid them.

tarmar's avatar

I think I parent like I wanted to be parented… My wife parents like I was parented. She’s much more controlling and demanding. But that’s the way it is a lot, I think.

Cruiser's avatar

Hell no! One of me and my messed up mind is enough in the world we don’t need 2 more!!

DominicX's avatar

My parents parented very similarly to the way my mom was raised (high amount of freedom, liberal outlook, etc.) but they improved upon it. My mom was corporally punished and they did away with that. My mom was forced to eat food at the dinner table and they did away with that, etc.

My dad was raised in a domineering household where you didn’t question anything. He was pretty much determined to not pass that on and he didn’t at all. So it’s very possible to change your style from the way you were raised.

I know I’m not a parent, but I think it’s not a bad example..

Because what my parents did worked so well for me and my brothers and sister, I hope to emulate it when I have kids. :)

FutureMemory's avatar

My parents were/are non-interventionist “everything’s cool man…all you need is love…far out” hippie types. Because of this I was taught nothing about what it takes to succeed in life (motivation, direction, goal-setting etc.) . I love them dearly, and I believe they did the best they could (more or less), but sometimes I think I would have been better off being raised by wolves.

I won’t raise my kids the same way, not by a long shot.

MissAusten's avatar

I have a mental list of all of the things I will not do the way my parents did. It’s a long list.

My mother is mentally ill, and her illness affected our entire family. I refuse to be like her in almost every way. My dad was ok, but never communicated and was very hard on us. I think he felt he could motivate us by always pointing out our mistakes, but he never tempered it with praise for what we did well. I managed to turn out OK, but went through a lot of anger and sadness that wasn’t necessary. My mom is still impossible to deal with, and I still find myself worrying what my dad will think if he finds out my life isn’t perfect (as if anyone’s life is perfect).

I’m sure I’m not a perfect parent, but I at least try not to repeat the past.

stratman37's avatar

Get ready for a LONG thread….

tarmar's avatar

I don’t think I parent at all like my parent’s did (not that they were bad parents; quite good, actually) but I’m always kicking myself every time I use one of those corny-ass sayings my Dad would use at particular moments. Little two or three word diddums that used to drive me crazy, so much so that I swore I’d never use ‘em but now, 45 years later they’re staples of my utterances.


wundayatta's avatar

Good God! I hope not!

I want my kids to know that they always have a home to come back to and that we will love them no matter what. I want them to feel the love and know they are lovable and just perfect as they are.

I have never spanked them, as I was spanked. I refuse to insult them at the dinner table when when they exhibit poor manners. We correct them by showing them what to do, not by calling them names. In fact, we have had to cut back on their visits to my parents because my parents still do that, and it is very harmful.

I am not going to be an absentee Dad. I work with my kids and teach them and talk to them—or at least I try to. My daughter is 13 and her friends are more important than anything.

No, I hope my kids can avoid some of the mental crap I’ve been wading through decades after the events that caused them. I’m sure I’ll make different mistakes, but I am not parenting as my parents did!

susanc's avatar

I helped raise other people’s birthchildren from their teen years. I don’t think I did it especially well, but they love me and I love them and I’m a FABULOUS grandmother. (I had a brilliant patient grandmother myself, so it comes easy – the modeling thing gets pretty integrated without our making any effort – I think this the the real answer to your question.)
I did learn over time that you can’t frighten kids, ever. Just don’t . And of course, with that lesson came not allowing myself to be frightened. Thank you Jesus.

ucme's avatar

Bits & pieces are in there but predominantly i’d say no.My kids are not me & i’m not my dad.Best bring them up as the individuals that they are & in your own unique way.Bless all ten of their cute little toesy woseys…ahem moving on.

Trillian's avatar

Some things are the same, and some things have changed. I try to not be like my parents and was horrified the first time I heard myself say something like “Because I said so, that’s why.” I think it takes vigilance and persistence, as well as knowing what things you want to impart to your kids and not just winging it as you go. You have to think things through. What things you’re willing to let go, what you will insist on.

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

I try with all of my might NOT to. As soon as I see similarities coming on…I re-evaluate what Im doing and how I can do it better!!

ChaosCross's avatar

No, I find many people who dislike the way they were raised do it in the exact opposite way.

hippigirl's avatar

I am repulsed by my parents, so no. I could NEVER heap that kind of abuse on my babies.

snowberry's avatar

Hey, let’s give this person a great question! It is a good one. I went first.

susanc's avatar

Yes’m. I went second.

cak's avatar

Great Question!

To a point, yes. In some very big ways, no.

I am more like my father than my mother, in my parenting skills. He really encouraged us to try new things, never give up and if you want something – go for it. He was strict, but fair. My mother didn’t always hit the fair side of things. Now that I’m older and I see the big picture – it makes sense. She broke the pattern on how she was raised, but she really didn’t understand kids, she didn’t look at us and realize that we needed guidance, not material items.

We have guidelines in our house. We have consequences for certain actions, we also give our children the chance to make a mistake. We don’t expect perfection, but we expect them to give everything their best. If they make a mistake, we don’t yell – we try to look at what was going on. Yelling was a staple in the house I grew up in, if anything, it scared me. Yelling is not employed in our house.

I don’t think I’m a better parent than my parents, just different. I think every generation thinks they are the ones that have it figured out, but we all look back and find things we might have done differently. I know between my two children, I have made changes in how I handle some of the issues children have, for the better. There is a considerable age gap between the two of them, so there was a lot of growing up (on my side) and maturing.

MissAusten's avatar

@cak I had to give you a GA just for being here!

cak's avatar

@MissAusten – thanks! it’s good to be here!

Supacase's avatar

More than I thought I would.

My grandmother was very into my mom’s business when she was growing up and controlled a lot of her actions. Mom said it took a long time for her to be able to stand up and make her own choices. I still see times when she avoids or dreads situations when she knows “Mother” will not be happy.

My mom went to the opposite extreme with me. Everything was “you need to learn to do it for yourself” and that left me feeling I had no one who would support me. She pretty much had a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about what I did and where I went, which left me feeling like she didn’t care about what happened to me.

So, I am trying to parent somewhere in the middle. I respect both my grandma and my mom. I believe there are great things to be learned from both of them. Still, I am often surprised when I hear my mom’s voice coming out of my mouth. LOL

BTW, I do not think parenting is only for mothers. It just happens to be that way in my family due to divorces and non-participatory fathers.

lfino's avatar

I like what @DominicX said about having similar parenting skills, but improving on it. My mom was a good parent, and I feel like I had a ton of freedom. I was also the last kid and I think she was tired. We always gave our kids a lot of freedom as long as they weren’t stupid with it. When they were stupid, they usually paid the price in some way. We also made them pay for large purchases or at least met them half way for certain things. It made them appreciate the item, take care of it, and it prepared them for budgeting once they were out on their own. I learned very early how to cook, clean and do laundry and I taught my kids to do the same. Once again, all preparation for when they were on their own. One thing that is different from when I grew up is all of us getting together a lot now. I think we’ve always been a lot closer and we all do things together quite a bit. We have our Tuesday night dinners, we go to ball games together, vacations together… I don’t think my family ever did anything together because we thought it would be fun.

SundayKittens's avatar

Thanks everyone!!!!

thriftymaid's avatar

My kids are now grown, but my parenting style was the opposite from my childhood experience.

iLove's avatar

Wow. This is so hard for me. Simply, I am doing quite the opposite of what my parents did – to an extent.

My family was beyond dysfunctional so I try to utilize much of anything I learned as a child with my daughter.

5 words: Abuse – alcoholics – fear – multiple sclerosis

kostaweb's avatar

No. I wouldn’t. Which person with a will to progress, improve as a human being, and with self-awareness and a living consciousness. Would repeat things of something dead. (Such as the past.)? As long as I am in control of my body, mind , and spirit. I will only parent the way I would much appreciate to have been parented. If that is wrong. Let God Judge me.

sheepinarowboat's avatar

I don’t parent my kids the same way I was parented at all. My Mother was a screamer, I don’t scream at them. My parents divorced, I am still married to my Husband and their Father. Not very many cuddles or praise for me…My kids get a lot of huggles and cuddles. My parents never said they were proud of me. I tell my kids all the time that I’m really proud of the young lady and man they are turning out to be. I do a better job than my folks did and it shows on my kids. We are NOT doomed to repeat the same mistakes our parents made.

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