Monday, March 14, 2011

Why do I sound so much like my parents?

When we are young the experiences we have are stored in our memories. Think of them like videos on u-tube. They are uploaded everyday but only you can see them. When you got in trouble from your dad for playing with his tools, his reaction was recorded. When your mom yelled at you because you drew on the wall, what she said to you was stored somewhere in your mind. As parents the moment our children make the same mistakes we made, these memories are accessed and immediately put into action.

So when your child plays with your tools, you have the same reaction to him as your father did to you. If your parents got mad at you for leaving the toothpaste lid off, there is a good chance you will be frustrated with that when your child does it. The good news is the positive is also true. If your parents allowed you to express your feelings when you were frustrated, this will come more easily to you.

It is important to remember ALL parents love their children. Even the parent that is physically or emotionally unable to care for their children still has love for them. If you have nothing but videos stored in your memory of negative reactions by your parents, remember that they were doing the best they could with the knowledge and resources they had. Every generation figures out the mistakes the previous ones made. It would be really easy to blame past generations for all of our faults and issues. We make our own choices and can choose to continue in an unhealthy pattern of behavior or we can choose to take the necessary steps to block the pattern.

Stopping the cycle is difficult, but not impossible. Here is how to get started:

· Make a list of the positive things about your childhood: things that you know you were loved and made you a better person.

· Then make a list of the things that were negative: things that hurt you and made it difficult to love others.

· Anything that is in the list of positives will be easy for you to pass along to your child. They will come naturally to you because you have them on your video and will recall that as you parent your children.

· The things on the negative list are things that you will likely pass along to your children without being diligent.

It will not be easy reverse the cycle on a lot of these issues, but it will be worth it.

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