To ask what you would change about your parents growing up?
Pinkbutton85 · 06/11/2018 12:08
I had a shit start to childhood. Mentally unstable mother, she lost custody, fostered before my father was given custody.
It was good, but not great. There are so many things I wish he had done or said.
- Showed more physical affection.
- More praise and less criticism
- Played with us
- Took us out, anywhere!
I want to reflect and make sure I'm everything my parents weren't for my children.
So I'm wondering what do you wish your parents did more of, or didn't do?
BigusBumus · 06/11/2018 12:11
I'm having a really hard time with one of my teenage sons at the moment so this is on my mind at lot. I don't want him to look back as an adult and say, "I wish she'd been a bit more....".
With my mum its less judgemental about my weight (I'm a 14 and she's always been a 10).
ImFreeToDoWhatIWant · 06/11/2018 12:12
I wish they hadn't smoked. Our house stank and it killed them both before they were 50.
AwdBovril · 06/11/2018 12:14
My dad wouldn't have been an alcoholic. My mum wouldn't have been so much the judgemental martyr.
ScreamingValenta · 06/11/2018 12:14
I wish they hadn't used corporal punishment as the default method of discipline. I also wish they had 'stuck up' for us more on some occasions.
Jezzifishie · 06/11/2018 12:22
I wish I felt valued. I was compared to my sister (and found lacking), when I did achieve something it was downplayed. If I got an A, my Dad would ask what everyone else got (because apparently it would be useless if others got an A too). I got a set of quite good GCSES, they just told me that I did what they expected and that was that. Friends of mine were being taken out for congratulatory meals, being given presents....
seventhgonickname · 06/11/2018 12:33
Loads of things could have been different but I wouldn't change things because they did their best.I am doing the same.
As for rewards for exams!My dd is in her GCSE year,I expect her to work hard and di her best.She knows this,she also knows that the good results are her reward and are for her future not mine.She also knows that I love her regardless.
IStandWithPosie · 06/11/2018 12:41
Mum: less stressed- chasing her tail working, studying, martyring herself over housework, no time to help with homework or chat with us. She never ever played with us. No sense of humour at all. The only time she spoke to us was to give us a lecture. Still to this day I’ve never had a cup of tea and a chat with my mum. She can’t chat and relax, she has to lecture.
Dad: less of a temper, Dont be racist or homophobic or disgusting about overweight people. Stop all the negative talk that made me feel like there was never any point trying anything because there might be a downside, or it wouldn’t work. Treat your wife properly with respect. Don’t belittle and humiliate her. You set my example for how I should ask men to treat me. That didn’t work out well for me.
Acrasia · 06/11/2018 12:41
I wish I was encouraged to peruse the subjects and activities I was interested in/good at rather than pushed into studying and participating in things I hated but were my father’s interests.
TurkeyBear · 06/11/2018 12:53
I was aware my Mum was having an affair from an early age. He was a family friend. I always desperately wished my Mum would leave my Dad so she could be with the other man - as my Dad was vile growing up. He still is mostly now. My Dad used to hit me, never my sister. He stopped when at 17 I started fighting back properly and smashed his nose.
I asked her a few years ago why she never did and that I'd known all along (my siblings are totally oblivious) and she admitted it was because my Dad threatened to take us all away from her and was deadly serious. But I do think it was also an element of having her cake and eating it, she can be quite selfish in that regard too. I now feel he's even more pathetic as he would rather have stayed with a woman who didn't love him than just let her go. He was and still is a vile abusive man but she feels like she's missed her time and I think shes just counting down the days until he dies.
I wish she'd realised how much more damage staying was doing than to risk leaving.
I would've had a lovely doting step father, three new older step-sisters who I adored and probably wouldn't still have nightmares about being chased up the stairs and having to barricade myself in the toilet closet (separate to the bathroom) as it was the only door that he couldn't kick inwards.
What hurts me more is that she had the 2nd life with him. His daughters knew about my Mum and saw her every week as their Dad's 'girlfriend'. But left us at home when she did.
Strugglingtodomybest · 06/11/2018 12:56
Lots of things, but the thing that immediately sprang to mind was that I wish my mum had spent more time with me, rather than prioritising cleaning the house.
Biddie191 · 06/11/2018 12:57
My father - when he re-married we all (6 children) had to move out (with my mother) to a small, cramped rental house, while he and step-mum and her 2 sons got to stay in the family farm. Step sons were then treated like his own, with big lavish presents, we weren't allowed in the house unless he was there (I kept my pony there still, much to her disgust). We would get a pair of gloves and a bobble hat for Christmas, against their new racing bikes.
She left him, and fleeced him, as soon as her sons left school. My dad still allowed them to stay with him (fair enough) but even now, we are never invited to stay
WTFsMyUserName · 06/11/2018 13:05
I wish my parents were more huggy and kissy with us when we were children. As an adult now I find I really have to remind myself to hug and kiss my own children because I'm so not used to showing affection. And now that my parents are softer in their old age, I struggle to bring myself to hug and kiss them. I'm a bit awkward with showing affection. Same with my siblings.
cantstopfreaking · 06/11/2018 13:10
I wish she was less pushy. Always wanted me to be the best at everything.
Made to play numerous instruments I didn’t want to play, dance, act, be the best at everything at school, have all leading parts in concerts.
She would always want to know what other people got in exams and went mad if I didn’t do as well.
Even now she brags to everyone about my sister and her professional job, even complete strangers, but refuses to tell people that I work in retail!
I try very hard not to push my kids. As long as they did their best that’s all that matters.
WickedGoodDoge · 06/11/2018 13:16
Expectation of ridiculously high standards from my mother. I remember getting 97% in my geometry final (educated in the US where we do a specific topic each year in Maths) and my mother’s response was “What a shame it wasn’t 100%”. It was the highest result my geometry teacher had ever had but boy my mother knew how to take the wind out of my sails. My entire childhood was like that.
Cinnabunbun · 06/11/2018 13:17
Dad: violent temper, worked insane hours and it felt like he spent every weekend off on long runs, soaking in the bath or alone in parents bedroom sorting out bills. Then he'd randomly try to be all affectionate in a creepy way or lecture us in really boring pedantic things that I could never understand. Looking back I think he was just very introverted or on the autistic spectrum and couldn't cope with family life
Mum: I'm still resentful of her reading my diary as a teenager. She lied a lot and could be very snobby and judgemental of other people. I wish she had been less easily embarrassed. She never really talked to me about periods or sex and everything was coated in a massive layer of shame all the time.
junebirthdaygirl · 06/11/2018 13:20
Im thinking more about what was good. We had a big family but l always fely there was time for me. My dm listened and asked questions. Also there was routine and very little drama. We always always had meals together with lots of chat.
They were not perfect and l went through a teenage phase of thinking my dm was too strict and we had major confrontations.
Devillanelle · 06/11/2018 13:26
To stop drinking so much. Our lives would have been transformed.
robinsinthespring · 06/11/2018 13:38
I wished my mother hadn't left me and my father when I was 4 YO. My father remarried and I had a cruel stepmother (physically and emotionally) She left after 4 years and due to my father having to work away I had to go into a foster home. That wasn't too bad. When I was 14 YO I moved back in with my father. He drank, we had nothing, I had nothing, it was embarrassing at school. My clothes were cheap and literally turned to rags. I had to make sanitary towels from old sheets. He wasn't there to encourage or to support me, I bunked off school and didn't do well in my exams. I think if my mother had been my life would have been better.
MagicMix · 06/11/2018 13:52
I wish my dad had worked a lot less and put us above his job more. Sometimes we hardly saw him from Monday-Friday and he didn't really have a clue about our daily lives. I also wish he treated my mother with more respect and was less sexist in general.
I wish my mum hadn't been so sulky sometimes. She had a tendency to suddenly become offended and it was like flicking a switch and then she'd be in a foul mood for an unreasonably long time. It ruined a lot of family trips and days out.
We all have grievances about our childhood, though, and mine are very minor in the grand scheme of things. I think they both did a pretty good job with the hands they were dealt. Heaven knows I'm not perfect either and I'm sure my children will have a list of grievances when they're grown up as well!
madeyemoodysmum · 06/11/2018 13:54
On the whole a great childhood but I'd like if I could
A more affectionate father
A less nosey mother Opening letters for me etc
A mother than acknowledged my skills more.
Ohyesiam · 06/11/2018 13:59
Best case scenario. I wish my parents had been a good match and had stayed together. I wish they had been erudite and travelled and educated and had careers they loved.
More realistic scenario . I wish they had not felt so undermined by each other, and that they behaved more like adults when they split up. I wish they had felt fulfilled and relaxed (even occasionally). I wish they had been able to love my sister and I more generously.
What I really should wish for. That they had both had some parenting, and were not so traumatised, so they could have loved my sister and I more generously.
TheSmallClangerWhistlesAgain · 06/11/2018 14:10
I wish my mum hadn't been a smoker.
I wish neither of my parents had been fond of that kind of sulking that involves taking to your bed or conspicuous napping on the sofa, while the rest of the house has to remain quiet or risk the sleeper's wrath. Mum especially used to do it just when I'd got in from school and wanted to chat about my day.
picklemepumpkin · 06/11/2018 14:13
I wish my mother respected that her children are people with opinions and needs, not subordinates in her drama.
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.