We all have a list of things that our parents did that we won’t do to our kids. Well, maybe others don’t have a list but I do. After becoming an adult, I started realizing that most of my issues stemmed from my childhood. And I decided that I was not going to do these things to my kid. But, sometimes these things have been ingrained so deep that you don’t even realize that you are doing it.
As a kid, whenever I would get in trouble there would be a punishment and then the subsequent cold shoulder, silent treatment, and other mean girl type behaviors, from my mother. So after doing my time, I was still paying for my crime. This made me feel like crap longer but it sure was shoved into my head that I was bad and needed to be punished. Making me feel like shit for a long time was the fun part for my mother.
I, however, didn’t realize that wasn’t how a parent is supposed to act. I thought that holding a grudge was a good idea because it really made it sink in that you weren’t happy with your kid. But I didn’t purposely pretend to still be mad when I wasn’t. At least I didn’t think so. I took a step back from myself the other day and realized that was exactly what I had been doing. I got over being mad about a bad behavior pretty quickly but would continue to act as if I was mad because I was afraid of her feeling like she had been let off the hook. But that is a ridiculous way to look at it.
Kids deserve the chance to change. They need to be forgiven for mistakes that they have made in the past and those mistakes should be forgotten. There is no worse feeling than having a mistake you made 5 years ago thrown back in a child’s (or a now adult child’s) face so a parent can make a point. And I know this because it is done to me on a pretty regular basis so why am I doing this to my daughter, even though it’s on a smaller scale? When I am no longer mad about whatever the bad behavior is, I should not longer act like I’m mad at her and just letitgo! How will she ever learn to forgive and forget if I don’t model that for her? And how will she ever be able to change and learn from her mistakes if I don’t leave them in the past for her?
(There must be a parenting instruction manual somewhere that someone is not sharing because this is too complicated to not come with some kind of assembling directions!)