vintage photo of a boy

One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to examine your own childhood.

When you think back to how your own parents behaved, what do you remember?

What do you think they did right?  Write them down.

What do you think they did wrong?  Write down those too.

We are so afraid of history repeating itself (or that we will “turn into our parents”), yet we rarely make attempts to learn from the past.

Those things your parents did “right” in your eyes….that made you into a better, kinder, smarter person….try to repeat those with your own kids.

Those things your parents did “wrong” in your eyes…try and figure out why.  Why did it make sense for them to act that way at the time?

Is that what they learned from their own parents?

Were they struggling with things you didn’t know about as a child?

Did they become parents before they were ready?

Did they grow up suffering?

See your parents as children, learning from their home environment.  What did they experience every day?

If your parents are still alive, go and ask them about their childhood.  Ask what it was like for them.

You may hear certain stories for the first time.  You may start to understand why.

You may start to forgive them for things they did “wrong”…because maybe they didn’t know any better.

Most importantly, this is the time to let them know what you think they did “right”, even if it was just one thing.

Tell them you are going to do those same things with your children.

Being a parent is hard.

Let them know they did at least one thing right.