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Old 08-18-2014, 10:06 PM   #1
jimmy rich
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Iíve given parenting a lot of thought and want to speak up about parenting even if I am not supposed to have an opinion about it. My excuse is that I, like most of you, once was a child and, based on my memories, I feel qualified to have opinions about parenting.

What I remember is that I (I wonít try to speak for my siblings here) deeply and totally loved and respected my parents up to about the age of 6, when, they, not I set about to completely destroy any love or respect I ever had for them. Itís very sad when I think of how wonderful and happy all of us would have been IF ONLY my parents had made it possible but they didnít.

Itís taken a long time and a lot of remembering to understand when, where and how my parents pushed me away and lost my love and respect for them with their stupidity, carelessness, brutality and indifferent neglect. I would have been and still could be their closest and most loving son BUT THEY, not I, did not let that happen.

My parents were very kind, loving, gentle and giving adults up to about the time I was 5-6 and then, as if over night, they suddenly became menacing, brutal, FRIGHTENING MONSTERS who I deathly feared from that time on right up to my 40s! I could itemize all of the terrible stuff and brutal events that led to this sudden change of attitude and behavior in me but it would take a whole book so Iíll just mention what I believe were the main points. I imagine that some other parents will find my ďchildísĒ perspective extremely flawed or meaningless but here it is anyway.

I believe our parents greatest error was when they decided that us boys needed to be disciplined and brought under control after several years of being allowed to run wild and have NO controls placed on us. It may have seemed like a necessary thing at the time to take control of us but their brutal methods just made everything worse for me and I went from loving and respect to lying, hiding, disrespecting and going behind their backs to do my thing and avoid more brutal punishments. Our parents, not us kids, broke the bonds of love and respect that we had for them and it was never repaired again. I suppose that they thought they had real well behaved and under control kids BUT we just went underground to pull our stunts behind their ignorant, menacing backs.


I often go to Yahoo Answers where I see the same, exact pattern with ignorant parents and their misbehaving kids. Itís always the same pattern: complaining parents with misbehaving kids and NONE of them get it that the parents started the whole rotten mess by alienating their kids early on.

Once my parents, not me, broke the respect bond between us, I just went further and further down hill while they stupidly went further and further into contempt and disconnection. I had no idea how to reconnect with them and they had NO NEED to reconnect with me. All they wanted was humble OBEDIENCE from their kids while we all were starving for love, safety and acceptance by them. They had totally forgotten that they ever were children and saw us as both pests and mysterious aliens that they sure could do without!

I believe that if a parent could or would HONESTLY remember their own childhood and what did and did not work for them as a child, they would have a good idea how to adequately raise their own kids. It would be the ďDo unto othersĒ attitude instead of the ďDo as I sayĒ attitude but, once the parent decides to be a Prison Warden instead of a respectful helper to their kids, everything will fall apart even if the stupid parent thinks they have their kids UNDER CONTROL.

Once our parents alienated us with fear and contempt, our family became a nasty mess of two sneaky, dishonest, thieving and ANGRY boys plus a frightened but decent little girl. Bad and inadequate parenting sent my older brother to prison for armed robbery but thatís a very long and complicated story, which I might write in here some day. As far as I am currently concerned, bad and negligent parenting is and was the cause of just about every problem that our family and many of the families before us down many generations going back 1000s of years dealt with. It may seem simplistic but, to me, bad parenting is the master curse of humanity unless the basic issues of fear are at the top of the list. Now I see how my parents were badly affected by their own parents and that fear was actually at the bottom of it all Ė like the McCoy vs. Hatfield story where the families hated each other and nobody could remember why.

I believe my parents BLEW it because they were afraid and just didnít know any better plus, they were TOO PROUD to see that they were messing up and needed to go find help. They foolishly took the attitude that, just because they were over 18, they knew all there was to know about parenting.


But I am glad to see that more and more positive and beneficial methods of parenting are beginning to creep into our culture so, maybe there is hope after all.
Jim
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:16 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing, Jim. Your parents went from one extreme to the other, so I am sure that in itself was distressing.

I can't say I have been a perfect parent, but I have tried to remember how I felt as a child and even an adult when I relate to my own children, who are now in their twenties.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:32 PM   #3
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I'm sorry your parents felt you needed more disciple after stating school and that they went about it in a fearful way.
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelinglady View Post
Thanks for sharing, Jim. Your parents went from one extreme to the other, so I am sure that in itself was distressing.

I can't say I have been a perfect parent, but I have tried to remember how I felt as a child and even an adult when I relate to my own children, who are now in their twenties.
Thanks for your response, Travelinglady.
Have you ever apologized to your kids for SPECIFIC mistakes you made with them, assuming there were any "mistakes" by you?
I would have deeply appreciated an apology from my mom before she died but she was way too stuck in her adult Pride and DENIAL. Oddly, she (and dad) have offered apologies from the "other side" so now I know that they both realized their mistakes, at least. Since I am not a parent, I have nobody to apologize to but am more than willing to apologize to folks for my mistakes since it's the only way to repair a torn relationship, IMO.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:04 AM   #5
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Yes, I have apologized to my children for specific things I have done.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:43 AM   #6
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I had a mixed bag childhood. I always had friends that were worse off, but no doubt, a childhood that left me with my own wounds, battle scarred up. I had a sui attempt as a teen, no hospital stay, but spoke volumes. Had my share of abuses, me the child as a weapon in a custody battle, lived with my dad until he moved in my stepmom, si, sui, then runaway. Kicked out to live with my mom and stepdad. Mind you, i was an honor role student and athlete too. Not that my story doesn't get more tragically challenging. I definitely harbored anger.
One thing I swore when my then husband and I started planning. ..or kept stating, I may not know what to do, but I certainly know what not to do.
Parenting begins...graced with an oldest as an infant who wasn't quite colicky, but his temperament exisisted since day 2. Literally. Had two more all in 3years 10months apart,between oldest to youngest. I like to read, ex doesn't. I like to research, ex doesn't. Before divorce, two years before making that decision, found a support group that promoted that so long as one parent is at least displaying healthy behavior, the children will stand a chance to learn and model that behavior. Learning on the fly, without the same page of other parent hasn't been easy. And I just know, to keep trying, be real with them as accept responsibility for my own shortcomings. With the distance of each day, between a healthy parent, or at least relatively healthy, and one who i can't say he doesn't try in his own way, it's just I'm not sure he sees counselors outside mandated anger management or his parole officer and he maybe went on his own to a couple meetings in a recovery program years back. He's not a monster or anything, he has his ways, I have mine. I don't doubt the kids know he cares. They are raised seeing limitations on both sides. I'm not sure about apologizing on their father's end, but if not an apology from me, at times, since I feel it can be a simplified overused expression, they get clarification as to where I stand. They are turning out ok. Their last district grading system is a difficult read, i suspect they are all honor roll probable. They aren't perfect themselves. It's going ok, considering what both myself and my ex endured in childhood.
As for my own parents. We made amends at varying stages, the kinds you'd mentioned not receiving. It helped.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:20 PM   #7
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I had a mixed bag childhood. I always had friends that were worse off, but no doubt, a childhood that left me with my own wounds, battle scarred up. I had a sui attempt as a teen, no hospital stay, but spoke volumes. Had my share of abuses, me the child as a weapon in a custody battle, lived with my dad until he moved in my stepmom, si, sui, then runaway.
At about 7, I wanted very badly to sui and saw it as the only way out but couldn't think of a painless or quick way to do it!
By the way, do you think that any parent ever reads these writings and LEARNS anything of value from it? I often feel like it's completely useless to put these words out there since there already is a TON of parenting info out there yet kids seem to be getting no benefits whatsoever from any of it.
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I definitely harbored anger.
Yes, it's hard to vent and let go of anger which is our - ooops - my most basic, natural defense mechanism but I am trying to let it go as much as possible.

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but his temperament exisisted since day 2. Literally.
Ouch! That must have been quite challenging for you, based on your own past traumas. I now believe that my parents were deeply disappointed and upset with me since I was not very healthy at birth and not as pleasant and easy as their 1st child plus I was NOT the little girl that my parents dearly wanted! Their own nasty pasts must have played a part in how they unhappily dealt with me. I don't know if I was "colicky" but I was told that I had a lot of health problems in the beginning!

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found a support group that promoted that so long as one parent is at least displaying healthy behavior, the children will stand a chance to learn and model that behavior.
Our mom found a support group at the Mormon church so dad up and left! But with him out of the picture, many things got way better in our family and she became a much better role model for us kids but, my brother and I were in our middle teens so most of the damage was already done and not much of mom's better modeling effected us. Our best "role model" was our uncle, mom's brother.

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They are turning out ok. Their last district grading system is a difficult read, i suspect they are all honor roll probable. They aren't perfect themselves. It's going ok, considering what both myself and my ex endured in childhood.
I am very happy for you and your kids.
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As for my own parents. We made amends at varying stages, the kinds you'd mentioned not receiving. It helped.
It sure would have helped me. Can't speak for my siblings who are both parents and I suspect that they have put it all behind them with DENIAL so our parents, parenting and ugly past is rarely mentioned. I suppose if I had been a parent, I might want to hide behind Denial as well and just pretend that I'm A-OK now - even if I'm not. Oh well.....there might come a time when my siblings want to vent their bottled up, inner pain - maybe in another lifetime.

healingme4me, I respect and appreciate your post and the wisdom contained in it and hope some struggling parent reads it and gains a few insights into how to improve their own family.
Respectfully yours,
jimmy rich
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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Yes, I have apologized to my children for specific things I have done.
I greatly RESPECT you for doing that! IMO, an apology is about as good as it gets but few are ever offered.
Respectfully,
jim
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:25 AM   #9
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My kids are still young, 12, 9 and 7 months.
As I am human, I sometimes lose my temper with them (the older two anyway). Then, I calm down and apologize and we talk about the behaviors that were inappropriate on their part AND on mine.
They see that yep, even adults can lose their tempers, but that when we do, we can apologize from it and try to learn from it.

I had a great childhood. My parents were awesome. I still ended up attempting suicide when I got to adulthood.
Was it their fault? Absolutely not. It was the fault of mental illness caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain.
Sometimes, it just happens.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy rich View Post
At about 7, I wanted very badly to sui and saw it as the only way out but couldn't think of a painless or quick way to do it!
By the way, do you think that any parent ever reads these writings and LEARNS anything of value from it? I often feel like it's completely useless to put these words out there since there already is a TON of parenting info out there yet kids seem to be getting no benefits whatsoever from any of it.
Yes, it's hard to vent and let go of anger which is our - ooops - my most basic, natural defense mechanism but I am trying to let it go as much as possible.

Ouch! That must have been quite challenging for you, based on your own past traumas. I now believe that my parents were deeply disappointed and upset with me since I was not very healthy at birth and not as pleasant and easy as their 1st child plus I was NOT the little girl that my parents dearly wanted! Their own nasty pasts must have played a part in how they unhappily dealt with me. I don't know if I was "colicky" but I was told that I had a lot of health problems in the beginning!

Our mom found a support group at the Mormon church so dad up and left! But with him out of the picture, many things got way better in our family and she became a much better role model for us kids but, my brother and I were in our middle teens so most of the damage was already done and not much of mom's better modeling effected us. Our best "role model" was our uncle, mom's brother.

I am very happy for you and your kids.
It sure would have helped me. Can't speak for my siblings who are both parents and I suspect that they have put it all behind them with DENIAL so our parents, parenting and ugly past is rarely mentioned. I suppose if I had been a parent, I might want to hide behind Denial as well and just pretend that I'm A-OK now - even if I'm not. Oh well.....there might come a time when my siblings want to vent their bottled up, inner pain - maybe in another lifetime.

healingme4me, I respect and appreciate your post and the wisdom contained in it and hope some struggling parent reads it and gains a few insights into how to improve their own family.
Respectfully yours,
jimmy rich
I can only hope learning happens. Thanks for understanding that there are those out there trying, despite their pasts. Maybe it's the compassion for others and doing what we can, to not create in children those feelings, we ourselves experienced. My exh, was sent off to live with an uncle for a couple of years, when he was 8. He was from a family of 11. I'm sure, it impacted him. He was, at least with his oldest teen brother, but it hurts, a child, when they feel shunned from their mom. (Dads too,) I suspect they had many talks, in his young adulthood. He doesn't delve into books and articles on parenting, and many of his and my struggling surrounded past based fears. He tries, however. Admits his own limitations, where these kids are concerned, It's important that, at least on that level, despite the marriage not working, he and I are on a similar page. I understood some loving behavior towards kids, my childhood wasn't completely devoid. I've needed to address the push over parenting angle and then some. I was before kids, intellectually understanding my past, and moved into a recovery of sorts.
I have this friend from childhood, emancipated from the state foster system during hs. Educator, great mom, she gets all this...
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