How We Learn From Our Parents

Some of us would rather not admit that we are like our parents. Others would covet and appreciate it. Regardless of your take on the matter, we all learn from our parents – things that we do and do want not to adopt have been adopted. From the way you will run your household in the future, to the way you feel about divorce – we all learn from our parents or caregivers. 

How we learn as a child affects how we teach as adults (photo by Leonid Mamchenkov)

How we learn as a child affects how we teach as adults (photo by Leonid Mamchenkov)

Fortunately, it is a good thing to notice if you do or not want to be like your parents. It will, in fact, be the only way you can change out of the habits that they have instilled in you. However, if you try too hard to stray from how your parents were – if your drive is out of hatred or bitterness, you probably will end up like them just in spite of your opposition.

We learn from our parent’s marriages. There is a reason that people with divorced parents have higher rates of divorce themselves. In the article by esselmancounseling, it is simply the fear of ending up like them that is the main cause of stress in a relationship. Then the article gives a list of practical things you and your partner can do to improve your relationship with your partner.

We also learn a lot about how they interact with us during our teen years. Do they give you a lot of space, freedom to try and find yourself in the big world (hopefully safely though) or do they shelter you and make you feel like some caged animal? In the article by Psychology Today, entitled “Bonding vs. Bondage: What We Learn From Our Parents,” the writer states she “…believe[s] that parental deficiencies typically account for the greatest part of our struggles to become self-reliant, autonomous adults. So if we’re having dependency and self-esteem issues, it’s imperative that we focus on “re-parenting” ourselves–on learning how to give ourselves what our parents simply could not. Only then can we–independently–learn how to navigate our own successful path through life.”

Judging from the entire tone of the last article, I’d say that the author was incredibly hurt by the failures of his/her parents. Although I agree the best way and the most successful way to get through life is to be intrinsically motivated and in tune with yourself, we can’t necessarily attribute all of our self-esteem and dependency issues on them. It could be other influences, such as a first love or a new outlook on life. It is imperative that we realize sometimes life is not about making up for what people did not give you, but simply just making up and growing up.

With all being said, our parents and the way they parented us will affect our lives to a certain extent. The reason it is so vastly important to understand how we were affected by our parents is so we can grow from the experiences and decide how we, ourselves, will be as parents. In attempts to not let ourselves, our spouses, nor our children down, will we ever find the correct balance?

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