Whether you’re a child or a parent, you will have spent some of your time observing your own parents. It’s how we learn.
As I began to observe my parents growing up, it was obvious there was more that they didn’t tell me than they did. Although I was conditioned and was expected to conform, I was never prepared for adult life, but we only know that when it’s our turn to navigate adulthood. Looking back now I can clearly see that I was completely ill prepared for the task ahead.
Over the years I learned more by what my parents did and how they behaved than by what they said. The fundamental discussions parents should have with their children such as personal integrity; finance; work ethic and relationships were never discussed. I think as children we learn how to observe our parents.
We also learn to observe how our parents fight, how they make up; how they interact with each other; how they show compassion and how they deal with their children. Fundamentally though, our parents shape our world; shape our thoughts and shape us, regardless of whether we come out prepared for adult life.
Unfortunately, our parents’ bad habits become ours; their conditioning behaviour becomes ours until we learn to change. I do think though that when our parents make mistakes, they in fact make it easier for us to change the way we do things. Although there were lots my parents left out that I was affected by, it was the things I didn’t agree with that made me more determined that I needed to change.
As we go about our daily lives and with new experiences, we physically and emotionally grow. Our parents influence us, but I believe we have the capacity to think outside the box and change ourselves so that we get to live the life we want to live.
I believe that as an adult, our lives are our responsibility regardless of those earlier influences.