The more I watch my children grow, the more similarities I see between them and my own childhood behaviour. I now ask myself, is it good to see myself in my children?
What was I like as a Child?
I was, in all honesty, a little 💩 at times. Right now, I will put money on the fact that my own mother is standing there, laughing her head off, thinking, “now you’re in my shoes.” She can just sit back, watch and enjoy the show.
I was stroppy, difficult and, as I got older and hormones took over, I was extremely uncooperative. Now I look at my own boys and realise, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I mean, they certainly don’t take after strangers. So, is it good to see myself in my children? I will admit, I am a little ashamed of my own childhood behaviour and, when my 2 act up, I cringe at how similar they are to me but, I also need to remember, they are boys.
They are rowdy, full of energy and need to express their emotions. Yes, I wasn’t always an absolute joy as a child but, my behaviour stemmed from my own emotions. Remember, one thing we, as parents, need to do is to help our children manage their emotions.
Is it Good to See Myself in My Children? – Me vs. Them
Let’s take today for example. There I am, getting organised for the day, the straighteners are sitting beside me on the bed and in stomps Pup. When I say stomp, I mean STOMP! He doesn’t do anything quietly. Another similarity between us. I tend to be quite loud myself.
This time he was playing with his pet dinosaur. If you are wondering, his “pet” is just a raptor that lives in a wee cage. If you sit it in the cage in the correct position, it is meant to then EXPLODE out the side. This doesn’t always work so the frustration builds and the stomping gets loader.
Today, the cage was not merging back together properly and he DEMANDED that I fix it right there and then. Naturally, I had my hands full with the straighteners so, he was told that I would look at it in a minute. At this point he puts his hat on, STOMPS over to the stairs and announces, “I’m leaving and I’M NOT COMING BACK!” All I could do was laugh, I mean, come on, he’s 5. However, as I did so, a memory flashed across my mind…
I must have been in Primary School as I wasn’t that old and had just fallen out with my mum, something that happened fairly often. After announcing that I was leaving and not coming back, I packed my little pink bag with my teddies and, for some reason, a single banana because, well you know, potassium. Then, off I trotted. I made it half way down the street before my dad came by in the car to collect me.
In this instance, laughing at Pup seemed to diffuse the situation so, there was no need to chase him down the street. Shortly after, I fixed his cage. The problem was solved!
Pup vs. Tink
I will say this, Pup is an easier child to manage than Tink. Tink is a whole other child. A child that comes with his own set of emotional problems. He is quirky, overly dramatic, highly strung and extremely independent. Traits that are evident in myself. When I look at him and think, is it good to see myself in my children? I feel the answer, at first, would be no. I know what I went though as a child. I was bullied for my quirks and it wasn’t always a walk in the park.
I fear that for him. However, I also know that I was strong and made it through my childhood because of my parents and the upbringing that they gave me. All I can do is give him the same but, times are definitely different to when I was little.
How Times have Changed
Times have certainly changed. I would not dream of letting Pup wander down the street now however, when I was little, I lived in a village where everyone knew everyone. You could let your children out to play and not expect to see them for a few hours. We can’t do that now. We live in a society where this type of behaviour is frowned upon. No wonder parents go through so much stress.
We have too much to think about; what we are allowed to do, what we aren’t allowed to do, will we be criticised? We face so much judgement. One thing I always try to do is not to place judgement on others. You don’t know what they are facing privately. They could be the best parent in the world but, slip up once and it is that slip up that is witnessed. There is always a fallout. As parents today, we have to be so careful and this just makes it so much harder.
I don’t for one second think that my mum and dad had it easier. They didn’t but, times were different. There was certainly less pressure on things such as the right way to discipline. Parenting in 2021 is challenging.
We also have to consider the effects of technology and incorporate this into our parenting methods. I worry about the impact of social media on my children. When I was little, my parents only had to worry about physical and emotional bullying. Cyber bullying wasn’t even a blip on the radar. With all these technological advancements comes new ways in which we, as parents, have to react. It is not easy.
I just try to do my best. That is all we can do and, every so often, I think back to my own childhood and how my parents managed my own moments of madness. After all, I turned out ok, didn’t I? That’s rhetorical! Please, don’t feel the need to answer.
So, when I ask myself, is it good to see myself in my children? The answer is yes. Yes, I may feel slightly alarmed however, I have two awesome parents who taught me and brought me up well. If I became the person I am because of them then, hopefully, they will become the men they are meant to be, because of me.