I was peering out the window when I saw a neighbour going out with her daughter. For a split second my thoughts went back to my own childhood with my parents, and I wondered whether my neighbour would accomplish great things with her child, where my parents had failed.
I understand why my thoughts went back there. We may sometimes stop to question whether our parents got things right, and then use those comparisons to quantify where we are. Or maybe it has something to do with my less than perfect childhood.
We innately learn our behaviour from our parents, but it’s usually only when we stop to question what we know that we change what we didn’t like, or what didn’t work. How many of us at some point with our children may say, my mother said that, or you hear yourself repeating your mother’s words, and say, “I’m turning into my mother.” And then realise what we’re doing.
Sometimes it’s not a bad thing, but it’s not always a good thing. It means we must work harder at finding a place with our own children so that we rewrite history for ourselves, instead of repeating our parents’ history. It’s part of our own healing.
I also think it’s very hard to get everything right and it’s something we may not achieve, but if our children can see that we have done our best and that our best is good enough, then we will have achieved greatly.
Being a parent myself, I believe it’s very important for us to make a positive mark with our children. What we leave behind will stay with them for many years, long after we’re gone. It will also give them a positive slant on their own lives as they go out into the world.
It’s important for us to get it right because it’s right to get it right, and also so that when we’re no longer around, their memories of us are positive ones.