Psychology expert Jim Taylor explains the way he attempts to correct the emotional culture in which he was raised by the way he parents his children. His parents were very nice, but he thinks they coddled him emotionally so he tends to parent in a way that will teach his daughters to be more emotionally tough than he was.
Fascinating stuff. And I think we all do it.
Isn’t that what parenting is about? Recreating, if we can, the best parts of growing up and sparing our children experiences that hurt us?
I think about this a lot. I want my kids to experience all the idyllic parts of my childhood: Trees to climb and a yard to explore, free time, a mother who never criticized my appearance, incredible Christmas mornings, friendly neighbors. There are all kinds of things I want to recreate.
I wouldn’t say I had a “perfect” childhood though. My parents divorced and my mom worked really hard all the time. Still—I can’t complain. I hope not to get divorced. But I don’t really feel like my mom made any huge mistakes in raising me that I need to correct as a mom.
She was a single working mom, and I am happy I get to stay home with my kids right now. I think she would have chosen to do that if it had been an option. The funny thing is, sometimes I actually feel resentful that my kids don’t appreciate having a stay-at-home mom, an in-tact family, and a hands-on dad. I actually feel a little jealous of them! They don’t know enough to appreciate it. But I guess that’s what I want for the—to take these things for granted. I’m not sure how it will play out in their lives.
What do you think? What are you replaying with your kids and what are you trying to correct? Do we even know we are doing it? How is this going to turn out for our kids?
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