Parents; My Mom and Dad

Some could think that there parents would be more similar than different, because they had enough in common to have a child together. Some could also think their differences would not have much of an effect on their kids, especially if they are young. Neither one of these statements are true. Children see things parents would like to think are hidden. They also realize things that are going on adults think they are not able to understand. It is possible not to become a product of your environment; being your own person.

My parents are as opposite as they come, but they have the most important things in common. My dad has made major improvements in himself since I was born. It is almost like watching me grow made him grow, too. Because of my dads’ hard lifestyle, and the way he was abused by my grandparents, he had a great deal of built up anger. He was always on edge and the littlest things set him off. He was as stubborn as a mule, with an attitude to go along with it. He did not further his education after high school; he instead went into the army.

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He drinks on a daily basis, has sixteen tattoos, and curses like a sailor. My mom on the other hand, has barely changed since I was little. Her house has always been a dictatorship; things run how she wants, in her way, and in her time. If you do not agree, she does not care. If I smart off, I get a look. If I do it again, I get a smack in the face. She had been trying to finish college since I was little, because of being a single parent and having to take breaks, it was complicated for her to do. She speaks like an educated adult, barely uses fowl language, rarely drinks, and has absolutely no tattoos.

My parent’s differences in their personalities definitely had an affect on the way I was raised, especially since they split when I was three. My mom has only dated three people since the divorce and has never been remarried. Spending a good amount of our time together made my mom push to try to mold me into what she wanted me to be, which was just like her. She wanted me to have the personality she did, get the grades in school that she got, and have the same outlook on things that she had. It worked until I hit a certain age, where I just wanted to be myself and wanted that to be good enough.

I would have wanted the things she wanted for me, for myself, if she did not push me in the way she did. Yelling at me, scolding me instead of talking, punishments, it all just made me want to rebel. “You can increase your children’s unconscious copying of achievement-oriented behaviors by describing yourself, your spouse, and their teachers in ways that emphasize power and achievement. ” (Rimm, 1996, pp. 243-244) We have had many differences in our days, and it is probably only because we have been together and on our own for so long.

For the first six years of their divorce my dad had supervised visitations with me two days out of the month. After the six years, I visited my dad for two whole weekends out of every month. There has been barely any time that my dad spent alone, and that is one thing that I absolutely hated. He was always either married or dating someone. It also did not help that I always just so happened to dislike everyone that my dad was with. To put it nicely, he did not make the best choices when it came to women.

Because of this, my dad let me get away with anything, because I was usually unhappy when I was with him. Not only because of his actions, but because of the person he was living with, dating, or married to at the time. He let me talk down to him and treat him with disrespect. Another reason this behavior was accepted is because that is how he treated, and talked to, me. When I spent time with my dad he never scolded me. I was never got in trouble for acting up when I was with him, and he would not yell at me for anything that I did wrong during the time with my mom between seeing him.

Though he did not yell at me for things that I had actually done wrong, he did just randomly yell. He was always mad, nagging, upset or complaining about something. If that was not the case, he would yell at me for reasons I just could not understand. All I would have to do is walk out of a room and be screamed at for some reason that he could not even manage to explain to me. When he would realize he was wrong, he would come apologize and buy me things to make up for the way he acted. He also got in the habit of making t sound like going with him to get drunk with his buddies, and to watch everyone get stoned was a reward. When I would come home from a weekend at my father’s house, my mom would have the hardest time ‘snapping me back to reality’, that is what she always called it. My attitude got me in trouble, and my behavior was terrible. I had the attitude that I did not care what people said, I would do what I wanted. Like I said, my mom being the only dictator, this did not work out to my advantage. We bumped heads like no other, and my mom did not like the person that I turned into when I would leave.

She did not understand how things could change so fast. She was disgusted by how I would disrespect her, because she knew she had not raised me to talk to people the way I learned to from my dad. This made her realize that something was fishy about me going to visit him, so she would try to get me to talk about it. I never did, but I knew his actions were wrong. I knew I was being verbally abused, but I did not want to lose visitation with my dad. I did not want to talk about the things that I had heard, saw or went through at his house, so I was always angry. Children who have been verbally abused by their parents often have more psychological problems than those who have been physically abused. ” (Steinberg, 2004, pp. 150-151) I had a problem with going from one extreme to another when it came to my parents’ homes, lifestyles, and parenting skills. Though my parents have more differences than similarities, things that matter most in parents are the qualities that they share. Both have always been by my side. I have made plenty mistakes, had many bumps in the road, and made some wrong turns.

At times one was there more than the other, but neither ever left. They have always believed in me, even when they had every reason not to. When I hit the lowest point in my life (so far) a couple years ago, they knew that I would be better. Also, there has been plenty of times that everything has gone wrong, they have always been right there for when it did. “When your adolescent turns to you for guidance, try to respond to him with the same love and affection with which you kept him away from the stove or out of the street when he was a toddler” (Pieper, 1999, p. 212).

They keep me level headed and remind me that many other people’s lives are much worse. Last but not least, the biggest thing they share is the fact that they love me unconditionally. Things have changed since I was little. Watching me grow helped my dad grow too, my mom and I spending so much time together taught us how to talk to each other instead of arguing all the time. My dad does not hold the anger now like he did then, and my mom no longer pushes me to be just like her. The hardest times aged me faster because I understood things at an early age, but it also helped me become who I am now. Even though I was forced to get use my parents’ completely different lifestyles, I would have to say that we did alright.

References

Pieper, M. H. , & Pieper, W. J. (1999) Smart Love: the Compassionate Alternative to Discipline That Will Make You a Better Parent and Your Child a Better Person. Boston, MA: The Harvard Common Press. Steinberg, L. (2004) The 10 Basic Principles Of Good Parenting. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Rimm, S. (1996) Dr. Sylvia Rimm’s Smart Parenting. New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc.

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