I’ve been told over the years that you will come to a point as you mature where you can actually take a look at your parents and notice the flaws and mistakes they have. We don’t do this to criticize them or look down upon them, but rather to learn from them. There are many times we need to learn things the hard way, which is fine, but certain things can be taught by example, such as how to handle a relationship.
Life is all about patterns, both good and bad, so it’s important to embrace the good patterns and nix the bad ones. Once you begin to mature mentally, you’ll be able to notice the bad patterns in your life that you may have adapted simply because it’s what you grew up around.
So here are 5 mistakes we can learn from our parents.
If you haven’t read the 5 Love Languages (book link) yet then I highly recommend it. Communicating is the basis of human interaction so it’s important to know how to speak others primary languages. If you have a parent that speak the Quality Time language and another parent that speaks Affection, and they don’t speak each other’s language, you will notice that it may have caused riffs here and there.
Did your mother get upset when your dad was away for long periods of time for work? Maybe that’s because that was her primary love language. Your dad may have spent quality time with her when he got back or he may have just went about his life, maybe because he didn’t know better. Also, your mom should communicate that to your father. Now what do you do in situations like this? Do you see the pattern?
All too often we say “Well, that’s just how I am because that’s how my Mom/Dad is.”. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way you can be. Notice the good and the bad of the ways your parents communicated. How did they communicate to you?
2. Handling Stress/Problems
Did you grow up in a household where a parent came home after a bad day and took it out on everyone, maybe be yelling or just closing themselves off to the rest of the family? Did it make you feel good? If the answer is no, then take note of how things were handled, and how you handle them. And if you realize that you taking your own bad day out on your roommate, girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, etc. may be making THEM feel bad, then stop. Learn better ways to handle stress. You may not know how to do it right, but you know what doesn’t work, obviously by example.
Sometimes we notice our parents avoided issues, and we see how it never resolved them. REMEMBER that next time you want to ignore a problem in your own life or relationship.
3. Raising Children
This is one of the best ways to learn from your parents. Sometimes our parents do what their parents did in regards to rules and discipline and sometimes they do the opposite. Often times if they do the opposite they will tell you “My mom never allowed me to do this, so I had to lie and sneak around and I don’t want you to have to do that to me, so I’d rather us have an open line of communication about this subject.”
Remember the silly rules that existed that no one could ever explain why? Did those rules really work? Did you get so used to being sent to your room that you never once thought about what you did to get yourself there? Then maybe instead of sending your own child to their room so easily, you can send them to time out then have a quick discussion afterwards where you ask them what they can do differently next time.
4. Choosing Partners
Did your parents choose each other for a certain reason but then grow apart? Especially with families that have divorce in them, it’s important to notice why things didn’t work out.
It’s also important to remember those things when you choose a partner in your life. Remember what to look for that lasts LONG term and what is only temporary.
Also, it’s been said that we tend to gravitate towards significant others that resemble our parents. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. But it makes sense doesn’t it? Of course you would be drawn towards certain personalities maybe because you understand them more or have had experience with them.
We all have hot head parents, so it’s only natural that when we lose our cool, someone says “You are just like your father/mother.”
But think about that for a second…it may be a good reminder to change your attitude towards others. Just because you feel like you have the right to be noisy all day during a neighbor’s cookout, doesn’t mean it’s polite. Do either of your parents have bad energy with a neighbor? Is this because of an attitude they may have with them?
Do things different, and you’ll see different results that you did for your parents.