…The saying “Like Mother like Daughter” and “Life Father like Son” are not myths
That can be a terrifying thought! I’m sure we’ve all thought in our minds that we would never be like our parents with regards to some of the things they do that drive us nuts or were “totally un-cool”. Certainly annoying sayings or quirks of our parents could be passed to us. (How many of us have caught ourselves doing what we vowed we’d never do like our parents?) But more critically some of their destructive or harmful habits could pass down as well. The book offers examples like if your mom tends to turn to the drink when she’s upset, or your dad has a habit of walking out of the room when your mom brings up a subject of conflict. We as their children are not “destined” to do the same things, but we’ll find ourselves doing what’s familiar because that’s all we’ve known. Certainly we can learn to be different from the negative traits of our parents…but that’s the key…we have to “learn” to be different.
In the alcoholic mom example, statistics show the children are more likely to be alcoholic if one or both parents are. But if she proactively and constructively examines and learns ways to deal with stress, as well as is in open, supportive communication with her husband about the issue, she’s far less likely to be a chip off the old block.
When Skywalker and I were dating…I lived in Vancouver, my parents were in Calgary and he and his parents were in Edmonton. This made it difficult to get to know or observe either set of parents very well so we made intentional effort to talk about what traits we wanted to emulate about our parents as well as which traits we didn’t. And it’s still an open conversation topic now.
I’m not going to air our parents negative traits here (they are fantastic parents on the whole and we feel so blessed as their kids!)…but for the positive things we want to emulate….it would be Skywalker’s Dad’s generosity and hospitality. And my Mom’s detailed and organized ways of taking care of my Dad and us kids. Speaking for myself, I’ve got a long ways to learn to be more like her in that respect. (Love you Mah!) It’s only our first year of marriage after all (Happy Anniversary is today!)…and every day presents many opportunities to improve.
Here’s to many more years and much more learning!