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Thread: What do you wish your parents had done for you as a child?

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    Mac and I've talked some before about this sort of thing, so it's not too surprising that I agree with him here. School, chores, and behavior was *everything* to my parents. If I did that (and excelled in the standardized metrics by which such things are officially measured), things were fine. But there was always the stress of expectations that seemed at once too much and at the same time lacking resonance.

    If I could change anything (realizing that I had it darned good, don't get me wrong), I'd say to push a little more in some areas, particularly in fostering an outlook that life wasn't about much more than work and money. Those are lessons that have served me well in a lot of ways, but for example, I was surprised reading this thread and seeing that people *did stuff* like sports, museums, talk about current events, etc. with their parents. With me that happened maybe once a year... tops (less as I got older). Things like art, travel, history, etc. really had no place -- except of course, that I was expected to get good grades if I encountered such topics in school -- but although they never said it, my understanding was always that I was to take elective courses that would serve to get into college, etc.
    Yeah, what type were your parents? I don't know if was just an SJ mentality or a midwestern one. Growing up there you weren't going to bump into anyone famous doing something unusual (unless you went looking for it) - unless you count pro athletes. So the idea of doing something "different" wasn't really ever a subject. Go to school, get a corporate job, have a family. The End.

    Not a horrible life, in some aspects a very good one, but not the most interesting one either.

  2. #82
    Senior Member Array cafe's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    All things considered, I wish I had been allowed to not be nice sometimes and had been made to do chores and maybe expected a bit more of me academically.

    My mom was pretty good about treating me like a person, even if she sort of treats everyone like satellites.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #83
    thankful Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    To my parents: I know you love me and did your best.

    I am most thankful my parents taught me that a woman can be and is as capable as a man. They expected responsibility and excellence and taught me the value of hard work. I was expected to do an equal share of all chores, and help in the house too. I learned very early to be independent, and learned how to do lots of practical things - cooking, building, gardening etc.

    There's good moments from my childhood, it wasn't all bad. Their idea of parenting was a roof over the head and all necessities provided for. And although very authoritarian, and I did get spanked, (and some verbal shit in there) they kept us safe and cared for us. These days, when I talk about this old stuff, I know my Dad feels regret over certain things - they were 18 and 19 when they got married, and I was the oldest, and certainly my youngest brother has had a different experience growing up than I did.

    Ah, funny how the healing is complete, but when you go back, reliving it is just as poignant.


    I wonder what criticisms my own children would level against me?
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    What do you wish your parents had done for you as a child?
    I wish they would have forced me into learning at least two more languages fluently before I was 10.

  5. #85
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Smile Evoking Beauty – Music in Action: an evening with Jessica Roemischer

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Tonight at 5.30 I am attending a workshop to give me something I wish my parents had given me as a child.

    The workshop is in a beautiful old house in a lovely part of town quite close to me.

    Yes, tonight I am learning to compose on the piano.

    I am not learning to play the piano, I am learning to compose, to create music on the piano for my delight and pleasure.

    I really want to do this so I am a little nervous, but my teacher is well known and a wonderful person. But most of all, she understands creativity and can teach it.

    I have discovered that not only is creativity rare but the ability to teach it is rarer still. In fact most creative writing teachers will tell you straight out that they can't teach creativity - admitting their impotence from the very beginning.

    However those that can teach creativity have a special charisma. And strangely enough they are irresistibly loveable.

    They do share this quality with mystics such as Simone Weil (pronounced Vey) - they seem to be irresistibly loveable. Often this quality is so strong it is perceived as a perfume that envelops the person.

    And just think - in five hours I will be sitting on the same stool as this adorable and loveable person. I can hardly breathe with excitement.
    You might be interested in the outcome -

    I walked up to Manning Clark House from Manuka and I was a little early so I went for meditative walk in the park opposite, marvelling at the view as the sun set and meeting the most friendly and delightful golden labrador.

    And as I entered the elegant home designed by the architect Robin Boyd, I was meet by the son of Manning Clark, Sabastian Clark, with drinks and a table laden with nibbles.

    And I fell into conversation with a Scottish academic with a wonderful sense of humour who was writing his thesis in this very house.

    We hit if off right away and I think the red wine helped no end.

    And then it was time for the music, and what can I say, it was magical and over too soon.

    But we were invited to stay for more wine and nibbles and I must say the nibbles were excellent as was the conversation.

    But eventually with the sun set, the wine drunk, and the music ringing in our ears, it was time to wend our way home. And the golden labrador said goodbye to me at the gate and hoped he would see me soon.

    For a peek at Manning Clark House just click on -

  6. #86
    meh Array Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Not saying that to be unkind, but if you haven't considered these factors, perhaps it is time.
    Don't you get it yet?
    He wants to put you in a trance. To liberate you from one cult and indoctrinate you into another.
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    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  7. #87
    Lungs & Lips Locked Array Unkindloving's Avatar
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    I really don't wish that they did anything for me directly. I've been fine with the highs and lows, grown from every aspect. I'm nowhere near perfect and have a lot of life to experience, but allowed me to see what i do and don't want. I've been spoiled and allowed to take things at my own pace, but i've assessed it and am less likely to be careless about it all in the future or to take things for granted.

    I do wish that they worked out their own individual issues. They have bad habits and are extreme in opposing ways. It affects them both deeply, especially when trying to interact with each other. Thankfully they haven't been together since i was 6.
    While i'm glad i was able to witness their shortcomings and learn from them, i've had enough of an example and wish they could just get a handle on themselves.

    Also, they've always been as supportive as possible for me. I had to miss a lot of school when i was younger, due to asthma and other ailments. I also wanted to try an assortment of activities. They took care of me well when i was sick and signed me up for anything i wanted to attempt. D'aw.
    Hang on traveling woman - Don't sacrifice your plan
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  8. #88
    Feline Member Array kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Yeah, what type were your parents? I don't know if was just an SJ mentality or a midwestern one. Growing up there you weren't going to bump into anyone famous doing something unusual (unless you went looking for it) - unless you count pro athletes. So the idea of doing something "different" wasn't really ever a subject. Go to school, get a corporate job, have a family. The End.

    Not a horrible life, in some aspects a very good one, but not the most interesting one either.
    I'm the only non-SJ in my family (Dad=ESTJ, Mom-ISFJ, Sister-ESFJ) -- I think that's pretty much the same situation that you've mentioned before in your family. I grew up out west, and moved to the midwest after college, but it was pretty much the same as far as (not) bumping into out-of-the-ordinary opportunities.

    Bolded for truth. Exactly like that. I did have a really nice conversation with my Mom last night, where she basically encouraged me to look into doing things outside of the stable-job-uninteresting-life thing (Peace Corps, travelling, teaching english in another country, etc.). That would have never happened growing up -- but now that I turned out okay as an adult (more or less ) I think she's more open to it. Dad and sister would still think it's weird/insane though, I suspect .

  9. #89
    Vaguely Precise Array Seymour's Avatar
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    [PeaceBaby's post on this topic triggered my response, but I thought this more belonged here than in PeaceBaby's blog.]

    That is an amazing post about your childhood and how you were parented, PeaceBaby. I was especially sorry to hear about being told you were "useless" or "stupid" by your father. Those kinds of words from a parent can cut very deeply.

    I think it's a difficult process to work through anger and disappointment with one's parents, so one can move on to having an adult relationship with them. Most of us were fortunate enough to have parents who wanted the best for us, and were doing the best job they could (however imperfectly). Still, no parent is perfect (just as no child is) and we all end up with areas where our needs were imperfectly met or we were damaged emotionally in some way.

    I guess that's one reason I found value with the MBTI when I first encountered it in middle school, because it helped explain some of the mismatch between my father and me. It made me feel less weird and like failure, and more just having a fundamentally different perspective.

    I guess my list for my father's areas for improvements would have been:
    • Be affectionate now and again. I know you'd do anything for us, but feeling like a joy and not just an obligation sometimes would be nice.
    • Tell me I did a good job (if I did) when evaluated by age appropriate standards. Don't hold me to adult standards when I'm still a child. Don't only convey criticism.
    • Don't report your feelings as being different than they are. If you don't know what your feelings are (and I realize you often don't), then say you don't know or aren't sure what you are feeling just then. Otherwise, I feel crazy when I perceive you to be angry but you are telling me you aren't. (Although fessing up years later was helpful.)

    For my mother areas for improvement would be:
    • Get treatment for your depression. As a kid, I feel that like we (your family) are making you unhappy and that we are inadequate because we can't make you feel better.
    • Try to address the actual issues as they arise. Don't suddenly explode or burst into tears over one of your kids leaving the toothbrush on the counter (or whatever the triggering incident might be).
    • I know having another NFP in the family was a relief, but don't overwhelm me with your worries, fears and inner emotions. I need space to be my own person.

    I was very fortunate in my parents. They were extremely dependable, hard-working, stable, well-intentioned people. They provided for us and stressed the value of education. While I had a lot of conflict with my father, he did instill some self-discipline and an understanding that real life can be tough and unyielding. That self-discipline and expectation was an asset moving into the work force later.

    So I feel very fortunate in my parents. It's been a pleasure to get to know them as adults (and get to poke fun at their quirks and limitations). I hope they continue to be healthy so I can enjoy knowing them for years to come.

    Topics like this make me amazed how well some folks turn out even though their parents were crazy and/or highly dysfunctional. I had issues aplenty with my "good" parents... how do people with bad parents manage to turn into functional adults? My hats are off to people who overcome bad or inadequate parenting.

  10. #90
    Honor Thy Inferior Array Such Irony's Avatar
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    What do you wish your parents had done for you as a child?

    Mother (MBTI: XSFJ, Socionics: ESE/ESFj? Enneagram: 6w7 sp/so?)
    *Been less overprotective. Let me find out things for myself more and not have to warn me on everything.
    *Gave me my own space more, invaded my privacy less
    *Sometimes guilty of manipulating through guilt trips, wish she would have done that less
    *I wish she was more intellectually oriented and less tradition oriented. She did not encourage me to question authority or to be nonconforming. She worried too much about what others thought of her (a trait I share to an extent, unfortunately, she probably passed some of that anxiety onto me)

    Father (MBTI: ISTX Socionics: SLI/ISTp Enneagram: 9w8 sp/sx)
    *Been more emotionally open
    *Acted like he cared more. Sometimes he gave off the impression of being indifferent or dismissive about my problems
    *Not been such a slob
    *Talked with me more about deeper stuff. Not just the weather or how good the food is.
    *Been less passive in general.

    What did they do which really stands out as significant?

    I just want to say that in spite of the above criticism, I love my parents dearly (yes, I really do!)

    *Was very emotionally open and affectionate.
    *I could always go to her when I had a real problem and she would stand by me no matter what
    *She is very street smart
    *She has a great sense of humor
    *She is very kind and considerate of others

    *He is very easygoing and accepting of most people
    *He also has a great sense of humor.
    *He let me be and trusted me to make my decisions, even if they failed. He wasn't overprotective like my mother was.
    *He was also very helpful in solving my problems but in a different way than mother. He provided more of the practical solutions, while my mother provided more emotinal support.
    5w6 or 9w1 sp/so/sx, I think
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