The lessons my parents taught me about parenting are more of a “what not to do” guide for my own kids…
I’ve noticed something about my parenting style lately. I’ve noticed that I am using my own childhood experience as the ‘what not to do’ guide. My childhood wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t that good either. I know my parents tried their best but they really fell short in some key areas.
I was one of four children and we didn’t have much money. It seemed like every family around me did more than we did, had more than we had, were happier than we were, at least that’s how it seemed from my little corner of the world.
I was alone a lot when I was young, despite having three siblings. We lived on a large property and our frequent squabbles meant it was way too easy to retreat to different corners and there I’d sit, completely lost in the fantasy of what I wished my life would be:
I wish we’d taken family holidays, even just local ones;
I wish we'd gone on special family outings, to the zoo, to the beach, not just to visit relatives;
I wish we'd been allowed to do after school activities like my friends, like Girl Guides or music lessons;
I wish mum had bought us the proper school uniform, not the cheaper version that was just a bit different to the rest of the kids. I was teased and I felt embarrassed;
I wish we'd gotten lunch orders;
I wish Mum and Dad had visited the school on special days, just sometimes;
I wish had dessert after dinner every night;
I wish my mum had read me bedtime stories;
I wish my dad spent time doing things with us, not just doing chores when he was home, really BEING with us;
I wish my parents hadn't smacked us when we were naughty. We were just kids and they hurt us and scared us.
So now that I'm a mum, I subconsciously repair my childhood through them. Thank goodness I'm not a failed pop singer or pageant princess.