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Raising fit Kids

Do You Parent Like Your Mom & Dad?
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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP posted:
Do the phrases "Because I SAID SO!" "Don't' talk with your mouth full," "You'll poke someone's eye out!" or the dreaded, "Just wait until your father gets home" sound familiar? No matter how much we try to avoid it, most of us end up using parenting methods and styles similar to the ones used on us when we were children. Now that we're parents, we say things that we SWORE we would never say to our own children.

A lot of what we say and do as parents is behavior that has been programmed into us through our past experiences. These experiences inevitably influence the development of our parenting skill and style. In many cases, our parents' influence can be a great thing, but also be aware that the way they parented is not the only option for you and your child.

As parents, we can pick and choose what parenting techniques and values we'd like to emulate -- and which we'd rather not. Make a list of what your parents did that helped you become the person you are today. Did your parents make you confident and secure? Did they lovingly encourage you to become your best self?

In addition to the positive aspects of your parents' abilities, write down their shortcomings as parental figures. List how you would have acted differently than your parents. Did they discipline you in a way that you feel is inappropriate for your children? Did you not always get the love and attention you desired? If this is the case, know that as an adult, you can choose to create a new parenting path for yourself and your child. Take the best of what you learned and incorporate those skills into your own plan for being a better parent. Don't forget to discuss parenting methods with your partner or spouse and make sure you are both on the same page.

The fact that you are reading this means that there were probably a few things your parents may have done right. Perhaps the phrase, "Just wait until you have kids!" now rings true. Becoming a parent yourself may help you to better understand the reasoning your parents used when you were a child. In some cases, there may be things they did as parents that you still disagree with, or want to do differently with your own kids. That's ok. You get to make those decisions and hope that someday, your kids will understand the choices you're making for them today.

As long as we're on the subject, you just may want to call your parents to apologize for a thing or two you did as a kid!

Now that you have children, how does your parenting style compare to that of your parents? Share what you've learned as a parent with the community.
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Sarahai responded:
I really like the idea of making a list. I think a lot of the time we either parent the same as our parents or we do the complete opposite. I think it's hard to find a middle ground sometimes, especially when you don't know where that is based on your own experience.

When I was a kid I thought I would always remember what it was like to be a kid. I would remember how everything felt and take that into account when I became a parent someday. I don't always do that. The stresses of being an adult make it hard to remember how to have fun, how to make sure the kids never feel hurt by the tone of voice we use, etc. I stop myself sometimes and think, "If I were him right now, how would I feel?"

My mother and I were very close, but I think she was too protective of me. She had to take on adult responsibilities early in life and didn't want the same for me. I was not given enough responsibility, in my opinion. So that when it came time to start having to do adult things I was completely lost. I try to make sure my son has enough responsibility to feel confident in himself and learn the things I feel he needs to know to be able to succeed in life.


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