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If you had a truly wonderful childhood...

(59 Posts)
Iwasjustabouttosaythat Thu 21-Jun-18 11:51:22

Why? What factors made it so great? What were your parents like? What were the essential ingredients?

My childhood wasn’t horrible but I don’t remember it fondly either. I wish I knew how to make a beautiful childhood for my children but I don’t have a template. I’m going with lots of love. Any other thoughts?

Ohyesiam Thu 21-Jun-18 11:59:30

I didn’t have a nice childhood, but my oh did.
He says a mixture of stability and adventure. So his parents ran a very stable household, but were up for lots of days out/ social stuff, sports. Lots of time kicking around the countryside with no adult supervision.
Knowing his dad would listen to him with a kind and receptive ear.
There’s probably more, but he’s scratching his head a bit now. grin
Looking into his family, both his parents are quite happy with themselves, and have a good marriage.

QueenOfCatan Thu 21-Jun-18 12:06:19

Marking my place. Mine was a mediocre childhood from what I remember, I don't remember much before my early teens but I know that my parents are dysfunctional at best.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Thu 21-Jun-18 12:07:23

That’s lovely! I can imagine stability is key. DP and I were moved around all our childhoods. Always the new kids at school, always a new house, new area, always renting short term. When we decided to have children it was vital to us that their primary school remain their school all the way through, high school too.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Thu 21-Jun-18 12:08:46

Join the club, Queen. DP and I are both children of divorce. wink

wendz86 Thu 21-Jun-18 12:10:38

My parents always put us first. I have lots of memories of doing things as a family, days out etc.
They took an interest in what i wanted to do and my school life.
They are still very much the same with both me and my children.

BitchQueen90 Thu 21-Jun-18 12:11:35

I had a happy childhood for the most part. Nothing to do with money as my mum was a single parent on a low wage. She was a wonderful mother, always did things with me and made time for me and was always kind and loving. I always knew I was loved. I had lovely grandparents who had a big garden - I used to spend time there when my mum was at work and loved it. I was close to my cousins who were a similar age and lived down the road so we were in and out of each other's houses all the time.

I think the key to my happiness was a close loving family who always made time for each other.

cjt110 Thu 21-Jun-18 12:16:40

I had a disruptive childhood. Moved lots. Parents (Father and Mum) divroced when I was 2. Illness as a child. But I knew and know I am loved. We didn't always have a lot but my Mum and my Dad (Mum's partner of 25+ years) always made sure I knew I was loved. I speak/see my parents most days.

DH had a stable 2.4 family. No divorce, house moves, illness etc. He has a fragmented relationship with his family that I wouldn't say is a happy one.

Dowser Thu 21-Jun-18 12:18:09

I was a much loved and wanted only child.
Also well loved by grandmother, and child less aunt and uncle.
They weren’t gushing or effusive but firm and fair
They always had my welfare at heart.

They were working class but mum had a grammar school education and they wanted that for me. I rebelled and conformed in equal measure but I got where they wanted me to be. It was hard but I had a good schooling and left with a decent clutch of os and a levels.

Thankfully I didn’t disappoint.
We had family holidays, outings , friends round. Dad was a good provider , no drink issues or ow
It was 50s and 60s lovely simple times. There as no sense of lack in my home. I had toys, well clothed and fed. Home was a modern council house on a very nice ( sought after today ) estate

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Thu 21-Jun-18 12:20:47

Ah I do wish we had more family around. The grandmothers would love to see the children more but they live very far away. It does make me sad they can’t have a close relationship with extended family.

OnlyBaBaBiss Thu 21-Jun-18 12:21:24

Ooo placemarking

vgiraffe Thu 21-Jun-18 12:31:39

Interesting thread. I had a great childhood and not sure there are any common factors coming out for me yet. Others have said family days out and activities but I would say the opposite! Lots of time at home playing with my brother, unstructured, or having friends round to play. We lived in the country with a big garden, lots of pets! We had no family in the UK for many years so that was difficult but didn't affect how happy I was. My parents respected us and trusted us with freedom (e.g. To go to friend's houses on our bikes) and expected that respect back in terms of our behaviour, which worked well. Also although we were expected to behave, do well in school etc, I never felt that the disappointment if we didn't was anything other that circumstantial and they still loved us very much. We also went to a great, small primary school which I loved. That's all I can think of for now!

ArmySal Thu 21-Jun-18 12:32:04

Hmm. My parents were/are firm but fair, I always felt loved, I was never hungry, I was clean, my parents were interested in what we were doing at school, who our friends were, we had all the books we wanted (but weren't outrageously spoiled with toys, my mum prefers a 'neat' home), we were actively encouraged to participate in sports/musical instruments. We had a menagerie of animals over the years, we were taken on holidays often, my parents rarely argued in front of us, our friends were welcome.. I loved my childhood.

Strokethefurrywall Thu 21-Jun-18 12:34:11

My two siblings and I all agree that we had an idyllic childhood.

Supportive and affectionate parents who were affectionate with each other. Large, extended, noisy family relatively close by so lots of family gatherings. Family friends who were more like family.
I remember family holidays, days out, parties my parents threw.
My parents were wealthy but we didn't get spoiled with "stuff", we got spoiled with time, attention and support.
I often wondered whether I was looking at my childhood through through rose tinted glasses but my brother and sister agree with me.
We were truly blessed to have such an experience and I try and replicate it for my sons with days out and events for them as I think these are the things they'll remember.

RideSallyRide76 Thu 21-Jun-18 12:48:27

I had a happy childhood (but not perfect there's no such thing) I think the things that made it happy were:
Stability, we lived in the same house all my life, parents were together and happy, all grandparents alive, lived close and were involved.
Time: mum and dad bit took the time to do things with us. Dad took us swimming and helped us build/make things. Mum read/talked/helped with homework.
Activities: we were kept busy, out and about not hanging around the house for hours on end.
Friendships were encouraged: everybody played at ours, sleepovers, even spontaneous ones were encouraged. I had the whole class to sleep over once aged about 13. Mum and dad slept in a caravan on the drive!

BorisHair Thu 21-Jun-18 12:49:06

Small family unit - just mum, dad and a sibling meant that we were very close. Parents had a close relationship, lots of affection and also "firm but fair' with our best interests at the heart of everything. They encouraged us to work hard at school and do our best. There were clear expectations for behaviour but I don't recall it being full of rules.

Not much spare money but we had a UK holiday each year, days out walking and visiting local places and the freedom to roam around with friends during holidays and long summer evenings.

When I look back it was huge amounts of love. fun and simple stuff. My parents never discussed 'grown up' problems such as work or money with us - I know now that they had some pretty tough times but we were never aware of it.

Rose-tinted glasses perhaps but we were allowed to just be children.

ChoudeBruxelles Thu 21-Jun-18 12:53:19

I had a nice childhood. I was generally happy, had freedom to go out and play, parents kept their worries from me even though my dad was quite ill and they were worried about him losing his job.

Camomila Thu 21-Jun-18 12:53:46

I had a good childhood, I think part of what made it so good was that I always had a big extended family/was part of a community.

Age 0-5 lived in a tiny village in Italy, my grandad from there was 1 of 8 - most of them had 3/4 dc and they mostly had 2/3 dc...so I had at least 20 odd second cousins/'aunties' living nearby. Whenever we go back I still feel I 'belong'
5 + working class cul de sac in England, mums mostly SAHMs, we were all in and out of each others houses all time...again good sense of belonging to a community.
Secondary Age my parents sensibly sent me to the Outstanding school in the next town rather than local comp - suited me better academically, the girls I sat with in yr 10 English are still my best friends today.

Maypole245 Thu 21-Jun-18 12:59:07

Interesting thread!

On paper, my childhood doesn't look that great - parents very young and split/got back together several times, finally divorcing when I was eighteen. We were SKINT most of the time. We didn't have any local family, and both parents worked both full time.

BUT it was actually a great childhood. We were totally loved, and even at the worst of times our parents made sure we knew that they had time to listen to us. We spent a lot of time outside, and had a good mix of organised activity and time left to ourselves. My parents' friends became surrogate aunts/uncles, and we would be shipped off to GPs for school holidays so we got to build proper relationships with them as well, without parents there to mediate.

I think even as a kid I was aware that I was happy. Now that I have my own DC, I worry that I don't live up to the example my parents set!

user1471459936 Thu 21-Jun-18 12:59:40

Lots of siblings. Mother was a SAHM. Plenty of extra curricular activities which we chose ourselves. Nice area. Freedom to explore. Support from both parents (who are both very intellligent so could help with school work, far more than the teachers!).

Racecardriver Thu 21-Jun-18 13:03:48

My grandmother says that she had a wonderful childhood. Ostensibly it was because everyone loved one another. Her parents were deeply in love and kind to their children. Her siblings and extended family were also very kind and loving. No Conflicts, no dramas, no problems at all. Unfortunately I have already failed to provide this for my children (horrible PIL) so I'm focusing on fostering a loving and close relationship with all of their other family members and providing finacial sexturity and stability.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Thu 21-Jun-18 13:41:56

Thanks for all the lovely contributions. A feeling of being loved and your parents always having time for you seems to be a theme. It makes me wonder how those parents managed the everyday dramas of trying to get you all out the door on time when you were refusing to put your shoes on etc. Is it the management of everyday things like that or special time that is made to help and bond that had more influence? Both equal?

Seems also that a supportive extended family and stable household are favoured elements, as is parents who love each other, but these don’t seem as essential as the above.

Very interesting. Keep ‘em coming!

retainertrainer Thu 21-Jun-18 13:59:27

I had a wonderful childhood

-little family traditions
-being out in the countryside
-stable home
-time with friends
-time with grandparents (which as I child I found boring but my relationship with them had a big influence on the person I’ve grown into)

The only negative thing was my parents arguing. They seemed to do that a lot although I suspect I’ve blown that out of proportion as a child because they’re very happily married still.

IrmaFayLear Thu 21-Jun-18 14:14:56

Not well off, but I had a lovely big garden with a big swing hanging from a tree. I also had a big bedroom - the carpet was a patchwork of about ten second-hand carpets, and very swirly!

Just fondly remember the routine: the same dinners on a weekly cycle (!) and i can still recall the television schedule from my favourite viewing period. - BLue Peter, Scooby Doo etc.

I went to a very small village school which was lovely.

I think children (even if they do not seem to appreciate them at the time) like family traditions. It doesn’t matter if they are expensive ones or free, they make a childhood personal and cosy.

BitchQueen90 Thu 21-Jun-18 14:21:14

Well I had no siblings and I was a quiet well behaved child so home life was fairly relaxed and organised. I too am a single parent of one DS and he is a lot more boisterous than I was as a child!

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