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AIBU to ask if you enjoy spending time with your parents socially, what was your childhood like?

(60 Posts)
Sleepthiefismyfavourite Sun 24-Feb-19 12:02:05

I am really envious of friends who enjoy spending time with their parents socially/going on holiday with them/ going to pubs/restaurants etc.

I find seeing my mum quite stressful, and my dad is dead.

For those of you who enjoy being with your parents, what was your childhood like?

Were your parents strict, or just let you do pretty much what you wanted? Did you have to do chores? Homework?

I have 4 children, and really want them to have lovely relationships with me when I'm older, but it really worries me that they wont. I'm quite strict about doing school work, and my eldest does chores for pocket money.

My mum is quite toxic, and often says really hurtful things. I worry so much about ending up like her, and my children only seeing me out of duty.

Sunnydays365 Sun 24-Feb-19 17:14:26

I see my mum nearly every day, she comes on holidays with me,partner and kids, we eat out together. she wasnt a strict parent, when i was a teenager she was very easy going and trusted me as long as I told her where I was going etc, I had no reason to misbehave. Today we have a great relationship, she leads her life and doesn't get huffy if I'm doing my own thing. I think I'm going the same way with my kids,they know my limits and therefore have a lot of freedom. My dad was the same but he has passed now.

Thatsnotmyotter Sun 24-Feb-19 17:35:20

We (DH and I) socialise with my parents quite a bit. We do Parkrun with my dad whilst mum looks after DS and then have brunch together usually. I see my dad a fair bit in the week as I’m on maternity leave and he’s semi retired. We usually just take the baby and the dog for a walk together. Mum still works so I see less of her but we do get on really well.

My childhood was really lovely. My parents were relaxed and easygoing. I don’t remember having any specific rules to abide by, a hard curfew or specific tasks to do as such - I wasn’t given free reign by any stretch of the imagination but everything was decided on a case by case basis and as long as I wasn’t a dick and helped out at home, we all got on well. I remember just going with the flow - if the weather was lovely we’d go to the beach of an evening, sometimes we’d sit in a pub garden until well after bedtime, there were spontaneous camping trips and we were taken to festivals and parties. I love that my parents didn’t have a strict routine and we lived in the moment. I plan to do the same with DS.

Echobelly Sun 24-Feb-19 17:41:50

I enjoy being with my parents a great deal.

They were very relaxed, liberal parents, but luckily we were all quite motivated kids so didn't need nagging too much. They trusted us and we didn't want to betray that trust by doing anything too daft - not that we were angels, but the important stuff like doing well at school and having friends was OK, so they didn't sweat anything else.

I think a really important thing is to find an interest to share with your kids that can last through adolescence - I think that reinforces a positive relationship later. Eg, I liked going to classical concerts and opera with my parents and still do (and DD likes going with me) and things like that. Parents and kids can bond over Harry Potter, or going on rollercoasters, or doing triathlons or whatever. So try to find that thing, ideally something they're likely to stay interested in as they get older, and that's a good start.

whiteroseredrose Sun 24-Feb-19 18:35:32

I have a good relationship with my DM. She gave me space as I got older. If I went out she'd want to know where, who with and how I was getting back. Other friends had to ask if they could go out in the first place.

She has had stages of trying to be controlling. She can't get her head around the fact that I'm not ambitious. We had major words at one time and she's backed off. She has always been there when I needed her as an adult. Was even there when I gave birth.

DH's parents are the same or more so. Lovely people who understand that everyone is different and don't expect us to be the same as them. Supportive and non judgemental.

So DH and I haven't been too controlling with our teen DC. Not taken phones away, switched off Internet or policed bedtimes. If they're tired we ask them if they can identify why. If exam results weren't great we asked about revision and how we can help. I did a course at work about tone of voice. We use adult to adult type conversations so that they don't feel babied. It seems to have worked to far 🤞

Aroundtheworldandback Sun 24-Feb-19 18:40:32

My parents are lovely people, not the most worldly so have unwittingly given me poor advice in the past. They are now elderly and I am now remarried. Dh loves them and likes taking them on holiday with us all the time as he says nothing lasts forever. I know he’s right and I try and treasure the time we have.

Weathermonger Sun 24-Feb-19 18:48:00

I was/am strict with my kids - but reasonably so and I would always take the time to explain my reasons behind not allowing certain things. All my kids were/are expected to do chores, schoolwork comes before friends etc. When they started P/T jobs I insisted they turn up and on time, they have had responsibilities from a young age. My eldest is now finishing university, she has job offers both from at home and abroad, but she credits her success and work ethic with the way she was raised. She visits home as often as possible, comes on holiday with us, and enjoys her family life in general. I think it is definitely possible to have a strict upbringing but still have a loving relationship as adults. As children, you need to be their parent, when they are adults you can be their friend.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 24-Feb-19 18:50:06

Though the word narcissist is used far too often on some boards my father is one! He dragged us from pillar to post thoughout our childhoods, never finished a school year in the same school as I started.

I've posted before about the weirdness of my possessions only really being on loan, could be given to someone 'more deserving' at any point. Sperficially we had very loving parents who gave us great inspirational toys. But we never got to keep them (I am sure I had a Spirograph for Christmas but it was gone by trhe end of January, I was 7!).

I may even have touched upon how he separated DSis and I and then fleeced her of tens of thousand of pound, nearly taking her house when he went bankrupt (we have no idea how or why), nearly taking our mother with him, but she said she had taken out 'those' credit cards and loans!

I may have outlined how he has lived off her for for the last 15 years, taking her money, using it as his own, forever peeling a thousand here and a thousand there becasue he is retired and it is her duty to support her aged parents.

I don't think I have posted how I felt when I got it into my head that my mother is just as bad - he is her husband, he is right, if we don't like it we can fuck off - almost verbatim!

We are now waiting for "The Family" to come asking us why we are being so mean! He is totally the life and soul and mum is just such a respectable woman! But they have leeched of DSis for decades. I only escaped because theythrew me out at 17 and didn't come looking for me for almost 3 years - by which time I had moved about 150 miles away and was getting married!

So no... I don't have anything in common with them.

But don't let all of that ^ ^ think I am bitter or anything. DSis and I no just shrug and laugh. Having got together and discussed how we were divided and conquered we have mended our fences and are supporting each other properly. Neither of us have been made into miserable people!

But it still feels treacherous to type that out. Which is why I do it every now and then. Sorry to those who have read bits of it before!

IndieTara Mon 25-Feb-19 00:55:30

I love spending time with my parents but they live abroad so I don't get to see them very often.

ParkaPerson Mon 25-Feb-19 01:02:02

I had a really happy childhood and love spending time with my family - my brother is the same.

I think my parents managed the balance of encouraging us and pushing us to be as independent as possible, while also making sure that we knew they would literally always be there for us. I know they'd do anything for me, but I'd never take the piss as I've always wanted to do things for myself. They also supported our different hobbies and interests - not neccessarily through money as we weren't well off- but by spending time with us. E.g. my brother was interested in music and my dad helped him build a guitar.

My major worry about parenthood nowadays is living up to their example with my own daughter

PBobs Mon 25-Feb-19 04:53:10

My parents and I are very close. We are a little family of three. They both worked hard and full time but honestly I never felt alone or uncared for. I knew and know that they absolutely adore me. Would do anything they could to make my life easier. But they do that by letting me know they're there. Not by stifling me or controlling me. I had tremendous freedom as a child and was allowed to spend time with whomever I wanted wherever I wanted. That said, there were strict immovable boundaries and expectations around certain things - mostly involving being polite, kind and considerate of others rather than academics etc. So behaviour guidelines were all about how you make other people feel not just because it is the right thing to do or because they just said so. I remember as a child everything they did was based around how it made other people feel better so I guess I grew up in a home were caring about other people was the theme. And of course that included caring about eachother.

I excelled at school but that was because they instilled a love of learning in me. My mum is a voracious reader and I grew up surrounded by books. My dad had immense passion for his field of work and showed me that loving what you do makes hard work less hard. I work with students whose parents push them academically and they all struggle with intrinsic motivation and are more concerned with getting good grades than enjoying their learning.

My DH and I spend a week to ten days a year on holiday with my parents and every other year we see them twice a year for that time. We live overseas from them so we cram our time into that time together. I Skype them once a week or once every two weeks if work is rammed for me. Mum and I email a few times a week and I viber my dad every few days. I know they miss me but they really want me to make my own choices about what will make me happy. I would say they are very selfless. I have never had the "what about us/you left us/etc" talk from them. They did have me later in life so I don't know if that makes a difference. My mum says so.

It was a fun household. My school friends used to love my parents and we used to laugh a lot. My mum was a real laugh - dad used to love to feed and water everyone. I rarely ate dinner alone although usually I ate with mum as dad kept longer hours. I had my own key from age 10 or so for after school.

Sorry. Bit rambling but maybe there is something useful in there.

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