“I had tried and tried to get them to see me. If I wasn’t an accident, if my mother was telling me the truth, wasn’t this worse? If I wasn’t an accident, mustn’t I be a crushing disappointment? My father couldn’t bear to be with me. It was as if to do so, caused him more physical pain than all his ailments combined and my mother lived in exile within her own mind, devoted only to the past.”
After hearing Augusten Burroughs read this paragraph from his book, A Wolf at the Table, my thoughts turned to how we all carry baggage with us into adulthood based on how we were raised.
Some of us, myself included, were fortunate to receive unconditional love at home. Others were not that fortunate during their childhood.
In his book, Augusten Burroughs put me in the skin of a small boy longing for unconditional love from a parent. He is so brutally honest as he talks about the “unspeakably terrifying relationship between father and son.”
This lead me to do a search on how parenting affects children. I found a simple graphic on Dr. Phil’s website which I copied below.
He has a quiz which allows you to identify your parenting style. I did one section for fun, and actually scored higher than the highest score mentioned for that section. You might be wondering which one? A description of each style of parenting is also given at the bottom of the quiz. Most of us probably fit into several categories, although when I look at my three sons, I can quite clearly pin-point which category they fit in.
My blogger friend Jennifer Fink, focuses on raising boys. I always find useful information on her site.
How about you? Anything you want to share about your childhood, your style of parenting, or parenting in general?
That opening passage was incredibly powerful and difficult to read.
I haven't taken the quiz. I'm not sure if I will. I will definitely be examining my parenting style.
I also wanted to throw in a little extra plug for Jennifer Fink. I am a regular reader of her blogging 'bout boys. I have three boys and a girl myself.
I am constantly adjusting my parenting to adapt to four different kids.
I am also determined to parent differently from the way I was parented.
Jennifer Fink says
Such an important topic! Thank you so much for linking to my blog.
I think I can very well identify with Mr.Burroughs predicament. Having grown up with an emotionally and psychologically troubled father gifted with a sculptor's creative hand, I realized how personal issues concerning one's childhood upbringing figure out in your ability to become a good parent. Complicated as it is, I have realized that our ability to love others depends on how we love ourselves, which is the first major lesson we learn based on how our parents have loved us as we were growing up.
Cairo Typ0 says
I saw how preferential parenting affecting children and it's tough. I dont' think parents realize most of the time what they're doing. *shrug*
I'm not a parent though so what do i know.
I think I was to strict and expected to much, probably as a reaction to my parents being not very strict and not expecting much. There were a few rough years with the youngest, who you can meet here: http://harphouse.blogspot.com/ Fortunately, all three of my children are wonderful responsible adults who I am proud to call my children and my friends. And they are all the best of parents to their children.
Children need boundaries and love.
Routines and protection.
Rules and responsibilities.
Parents should speak to their children respectfully.
Be and behave like adults.
I think that parenting cannot be generalized nor pigeon-holed according to quizzes… So much depends on not only the parents, but also the children themselves. Each child is unique and need his or her own special style of parenting.
I do believe that all kids need to be loved, they need to know that we will always love them for who they are even if we might discipline them for bad behaviour. Kids need boundaries and limits, and they need to be SEEN, really seen. The most important thing is that they feel loved and wanted and cared for.
Gramma Ann says
I am just glad my parenting days ended many years ago. I had 3 sons and 2 daughters. They are now parents and grandparents. As I always say, I'm glad I had children, but would never want to go through that period of my life again. If only we knew then what we know now, I'm sure we would all do things differently. As the saying goes: 'Hindsight is 20/20.' At least I think that is how the saying goes.
Thanks for you visit, it is always nice to hear from you. I have never been to Paris, but visit Paris Daily Photo each day, learn so much from his little blog. And have a fun time reading the comments on his blog. Just as I enjoy reading your blog and comments. I am guilty of not leaving a comment each time I visit, but enjoy it anyway.
I agree, Augusten Burroughs is so talented and his words touch you right in the core of your body and spirit. Thanks for coming over. Hope to see you and visit you.
Love your blog. You offer guidance to so many.
Your comment is so true. If you love yourself first, you are so much more capable of showering others with love.
Yes, some parents and grandparents do show preference towards one kid or grandkid.
It's so good to hear that all of them turned out to be great parents and adults. That's all we really hope for. At least I do. Well done Jeanie.
Yes, I agree. Kids do need boundaries and love. Very well put.
Paying attention to your kids makes them open up and I know my youngest 15-year-old son loves it when I listen to him.
Thanks for your nice long comment.
I know what you mean about being happy that your parenting days are over. I can tell that now I'm ready for more time to pursue my own dreams after raising three boys. You had a large family and perhaps now you should visit Paris. I know you'd love it.
Lauri Kubuitsile says
Both I and my husband had problematic upbringings and were not very keen to be parents since we thought we'd not know how to do it since we hadn't had much in way of examples. Our kids are teenagers now. Both excellent in school, independent, thoughtful and respectful.
I think sometimes we can change waht we were given.
Jungle Mom says
Very interesting. I am off to take the quiz.
My husband says parenting, especially when dealing with teens, must be a relationship based on mutual respect which will build rapport. A relationship built on rules without respect will always lead to rebellion.
Its about communication.
As for you question on my blog. You can pick up my button by copying and pasting the code into your sidebar.
Id you have a button I can do the same to link to you. If not, I just add your url to my blogroll, which I need to update.
I find this chart interesting, although I wonder if it takes in to account different personalities in children? It kind of feels like it assumes a blank canvas for each child when I feel that children are actually born with different personality types and that has a great deal of influence on the type of child they will be.
Just my opinion.
The Blonde Duck says
I'm not a parent, but I know from personal experience how much parenting can effect kids. It's really hard when you don't feel your parents love or appreciate you.
Midlife Jobhunter says
I think I had better wait to see how they turn out before I offer any advice. As yet another mother of three boys, I will check out your friend's site. (Perhaps Dr. Phil's quiz, also.)
One of my friends already told me about this place and I do not regret that I found this article.