When you’re a little kid, you tend to think your parents know everything. That they can do no wrong. Then you grow up and realize they didn’t know anything and there were a few things they did wrong.
Let me clarify. They must’ve known something. They knew enough to keep you alive. All those morals and beliefs that make you who you are didn’t just fall out of the sky. I bet you are a very respectable and productive citizen, and you have your parents to thank for that! I know I certainly do.
However, after gaining some experience in life for yourself, you’ll come across some things your parents never taught you. Perhaps they didn’t know it themselves or didn’t know that they should tell you. Whatever it is, here you are having to teach yourself.
As I get closer to 30, I find myself discovering more lessons that were left out of my childhood. To be honest, I feel somewhat resentful from time to time. I can’t help but wonder why my parents didn’t tell me certain things that would have greatly improved my life now had I gotten the proper training when I was still a child.
With that being said, it’s easy to dwell on the past, but I want to look to the future. One piece of wisdom I’ve gained is that our parents are separate people on their own journeys. What that means is, even while we were kids and they were the adults, they were learning just like we were. Parenting is a two-way street in terms of lessons and growing. Parents are still discovering themselves. I used to think that once somebody has a kid, they have it all figured out, but they may have just reached the tip of the iceberg.
Something else I’ve come to realize is that our parents may not have been okay. You don’t have to be adulting for very long to know it is hard. Some days, you’re just not okay mentally, physically, or emotionally. So many people suffer from depression, and a lot of them have kids. I didn’t know it then, but I think it is very possible that at least one of my parents were depressed. They went through a nasty divorce, so it makes sense. A poor mental state will definitely affect someone’s parenting skills.
Having kids is like giving birth to a mirror. I’m not talking about your kid being the spitting image of you. I’m talking about internal issues you have yet to deal with will reflect in your kids. A parent who is always angry and combative will have a child who displays that same behavior. In such a situation, it is easy to focus on disciplining the child when in all actuality it is the parent who needs to confront their issues.
All this is to say that the relationship I have with both my parents has not always been what it should be, but I get it now. They were kids just like me at some point in time, and they may not have received the proper training either. What I love about my generation, despite the bad rep we get, is that we seem to be more aware of ourselves than our parents and grandparents. It makes me proud to see all the mental health awareness and self-care acknowledgement. I think that goes to show that we do want to be better and bring an end to generational curses.
If you are like many of us who hold some sort of resentment towards your parents, please be proactive in seeking a way to forgive them. I think in many cases, it is not their fault for why they are the way they are. As their kids, we are their blessings, whether they realize it or not. We can see them for who they truly are and love them anyway—not to mention there’s an immense amount of healing we receive when we forgive them.
As for myself, it didn’t take long for me to realize that my parents are not perfect. Mom and Dad have both hurt me in different ways. However, it’s so beautiful how all things work out for the greater good. Nowadays, we’re all good friends. Whatever I feel I may have missed out on when I was a kid, I’m making up for now. I’m thankful that I was given the time to forgive my parents while they are still living. I get to experience the greatest love I’ve ever known.