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Thank you again, everyone, for your posts.

 

I had a very dysfunctional childhood so I don't know the correct reaction to a normal childhood. I can't really tell if I should be validating their resentment (which was something my mother never did - she always told me I was either (a) making things up or (b) should just get over it.)

 

I don't really have any clue between normal criticism of parenting styles and trying to address a real issue that should be acknowledged. For me, every issue that I experienced in my childhood was a result of really bad parenting so my experience now is kind of skewed!

 

I'm sorry you had a dysfunctional childhood also. Do you have a good friend to talk to? I have a friend that I call every time I think I'm overreacting in response to something because of my past experiences. There are some things I just don't trust myself to look at objectively so I call her for an outside opinion to keep me in check. ;)

 

(Disclaimer: Keep in mind I am looking at this from my own POV having had a dysfunctional childhood with an emotionally abusive mother.)

I would validate their feelings, apologize, and explain myself. Something I heard once that hit me hard (and I'm paraphrasing here) is: "We don't decide if we hurt someone. Their feelings are their own and their perception is right even if it wasn't our intention." I was frequently told as a child/teen that what I was stupid, over-reacting, making it up, being ridiculous, or to get over it. I am funny about it. If my kids say mom you ___. I apologize. I explain what I was thinking/meant by my actions and I ask forgiveness for hurting them since it wasn't my intention to cause the reaction they had. That may sound odd but that is how I would handle it.

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I read somewhere that when they are little, they sit on your lap, but when they are adults, they sit on your heart.

 

I got smacked upside the head too, by one. You aren't alone, but it is so sad.  Maybe in a decade or two, they will finally appreciate you and realize that you, like all of us, did the best you could with the knowledge you had at the time. 

We would all do things differently in some ways.  Including the complainers, when they have raised children. 

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I think every kid goes through that phase--they still don't have all the perspective they need....when my sons indicate such things to me, I tell them we made the very best decisions we knew how to make--with the information we had at hand. If we had different information we might have made different decisions. The only thing you can do now is move forward, my son.

 

I have apologized and expressed regret for some things we did or missed--wow, would I love to go back and have a do-over or two???? Sure thing. I tell my sons that as well. Now that they are past the 'young' adult stage, they seem to understand more.

 

I want a do-over too.

 

:(

 

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Thank you again, everyone, for your posts.

 

I had a very dysfunctional childhood so I don't know the correct reaction to a normal childhood. I can't really tell if I should be validating their resentment (which was something my mother never did - she always told me I was either (a) making things up or (b) should just get over it.)

 

I don't really have any clue between normal criticism of parenting styles and trying to address a real issue that should be acknowledged. For me, every issue that I experienced in my childhood was a result of really bad parenting so my experience now is kind of skewed!

I am sorry about your dysfunctional childhood... I had one, it's not easy to deal with, and it affects who I am as a mom and wife. I don't know how much your girls know of your childhood? Mine don't know a whole lot of detail, and hopefully they'll never know...but my oldest does know that it wasn't the greatest. She's 20. At times, it has helped her to just move on if/when we have hurt her. I think it's perfectly ok to validate their feelings, and hopefully they'll move on? And as others mentioned as well, maybe you are all going through circumstances right now that just make things harder all together. Finding something to complain about might be a way of coping? I'm not saying it's ok, specially for you.. but just try not to take it personally. It sounds like you did a great job and they have a great childhood to look back on :)
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My kids are only 4 and 8, so take my theory for what it is worth at this point!! 

 

I think there is a need to flap the wings around that age, and the angst of a college student is parallel to the toddler yelling, "ME DO IT!"  In other words, it might be developmentally appropriate.  I felt that way myself at 20; I really, really needed to move out of my parents' house (and I did). 

 

I hope you are able to let it roll off your back a bit, and see how they feel in a few years.  My folks got so much smarter by the time I turned 25. :coolgleamA:

 

 

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My thought is that they're now sort of in the world; they're interacting with kids whose parents never pushed them at all.  Right now that seems idyllic.  In a few years, when those who never learned how to work hard or see anything through to completion start reaping the consequences of that, and your DD's realize that they have a stronger work ethic than those other people, they'll thank you.

 

I resented my mother for chores and everything as a young adult.  Now I'm in awe of her.

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I think most kids critique their parents, but not necessarily to their faces.

 

However, I would tell my now-adult children: "I do not want to hear your opinions about how I may have failed as a parent. I did the very best job I knew how to do, and perhaps you need to be focusing instead on all of the positive things in your childhood. It's not okay for you to hurt my feelings by talking like this or second guessing these choices several years down the road." If I were really ticked off, I might even tell them that they should be ashamed of themselves for talking to me like that.

 

On the one hand, their comments seem kind of selfish, but I know that my kids might blurt out something like this because they are used to talking about a LOT of things with me matter of factly, never realizing that it might be hurtful.   :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

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Oh jeez, they're still so young.  Their thoughts on this stuff will evolve over time.  I definitely don't love everything about my own upbringing, but now in my 40's I definitely think my parents were doing the best with the tools and information they had at the time.  I know other kids in this age range whose parents felt didn't support or push them enough for sure.  You just don't know what they're going to ruminate on as young adults. 

 

The situation with the coach is especially difficult, but I'm not sure what I would have done.  My 15 year old has taken piano for 10 years, plays at a very high level, and now takes voice & guitar too.  So dang, I'm sure he could come back with the same thing.  At age 12, my kids can quit or change course on the music thing.  My dd will be 12 this weekend but now is gung ho on her instrument of choice too.  She started at age 4.  What's funny about her is she complains about it, but now if I suggest quitting she says no way. 

 

I do think just shutting down the conversation with "I did the best I could with the information I had at the time.  Everyone has mixed feelings about parts of their own childhood.  Pass the bean dip would you?".  I wouldn't let conversations like that drone on and on or feel remotely guilty about any of it unless you actually feel you owe your child an apology about something.  Jeez - my parents had me in a toxic school situation for like 9 years and I never got acknowledgment.  And I still love my parents and had/have a fantastic adult relationship with them (my dad died last year). 

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Listen, learn if there is something legitimate to be learned, and then let the rest roll off your back. Don't become passive aggressive or mopey about it. I say this as someone who has observed so many kids say stuff like this to their parents - some deserved, some not - and almost all of the parents reacted in such a strong way that their relationship with their kids was damaged for many years. It's hard when you spend so much time with them and go out of your way to make their life the best it can be and they turn out to not appreciate it as much as you would expect them to. I do agree that a lot of them gain perspective as they get older and change their minds.

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Listen, learn if there is something legitimate to be learned, and then let the rest roll off your back. Don't become passive aggressive or mopey about it. I say this as someone who has observed so many kids say stuff like this to their parents - some deserved, some not - and almost all of the parents reacted in such a strong way that their relationship with their kids was damaged for many years. It's hard when you spend so much time with them and go out of your way to make their life the best it can be and they turn out to not appreciate it as much as you would expect them to. I do agree that a lot of them gain perspective as they get older and change their minds.

 

I have seen this happen many times, and it is so sad. I think you have to let the strong opinions that young adults have about their childhood roll off your back in the same way that you wouldn't get ruffled at an 11-yr-old for being in a hormonal bad mood or get angry at a toddler for having a tantrum when overtired. Some things are just really normal at certain stages of development. I know it's easier said than done, but you can't take it too personally. This too shall pass.

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I think a lot of 18-22 yos are just awful. I'm sorry to anyone that offends and I'm sure your Sally is the exception. However, as a gross generalization, it's the most myopic, self-centered, king of the world age that I've experienced. 

 

I'm hopeful that things change. I love all of the 24 year olds in my life.

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I just had my 18 year old tell me that homeschooling (i.e. *me*) isolated her and she is unable to socialize with public school children her age.

Now, I found this hilarious, but to my credit I did not laugh aloud. She can get along with elderly people just fine when go with the Anchor club and do Bingo or singing. She can get along with all the people who work at the museum she works at. She can get along just fine with the variety of ages of homeschooled children at our various activities (park day, Anchor club, 4-H, church, band, etc). She can get along with the fellow homeschooling parents - many who ask her to help them with various chores and jobs and classes.

But, she cannot talk with the public schooled kids in her museum Youth Advisory Council. Now she has said that all they talk about at the meetings is teachers, their homework, and how hard/easy specific classes are.

 

But it is *my* fault she can't interact with them. But I see it more as they cannot find a common ground to discuss anything. 

 

And I'm thinking to myself, maybe the problem isn't with you, sweetie. Maybe some day you will figure this out and actually be grateful that you can talk with and work with a large variety of ages. Or maybe not.  But I'm not feeling any guilt because I think you are seriously confused in this. 

 

That's just downright hilarious.

 

You're making me a bit glad each of mine got a bit of time in high school (their choice) where they have all had abundant evidence that those are not the discussion topics they want to talk about.  In fact, one dd (who came back to homeschooling after sophomore year) listed the fact that all the kids just wanted to talk about is teachers, their homework, and how hard/easy their classes are as one of her main reasons for wanting to leave ps, as it bored her out of her gourd. 

 

I'm sure they'll resent me for something, though. :)  With three teenage girls, my faults are already pointed out pretty much daily. 

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This is also the time lots of Christian kids decide they don't believe in God. Yet, suddenly you see those same "kids" five years later with littles of their own sitting contentedly in church. They are still learning about themselves and reconciling a lot of information. Nothing is over 'till it's over.

 

I think lots of people would have let their kids quit those things, but I think it was better to have them do it. But that's me. They are free to have their own kids in a few years and make their own choices.

 

ETA; I think they are feeding off each other. Some kids do that and then they have a downward spiral. I bet if they were not complaining to each other they would be viewing this a lot differently.

Edited by Anne in CA
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I agree, you sound like a great mom. I think they will come out of it eventually.

 

That being said, I find it interesting that so many people relate this phase to wishing they had been pushed more / less by their parents. That is exactly what has been happening over three generations in my family: my grandparents were very hard on their children in terms of achievement, so my mother turned around and raised my sister and I with almost no pressure to achieve anything. Both of us have gone through a phase of resentment over that . . . my sister might still be in it, actually, but I am not, even if I am trying to raise my children differently in certain ways. Having kids definitely helped change my perspective, because I can see how very hard it is not to go overboard in the opposite direction of your parents.

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I think lots of people would have let their kids quit those things, but I think it was better to have them do it. But that's me. They are free to have their own kids in a few years and make their own choices.

 

 

 

:iagree: I do think as a homeschooling parent, it can be harder to balance these types of things.  I do think some of our activities/classes are "curriculum" and an important part of our homeschool and if we didn't do them, I'd need to pick up with something else at home.  I think it's valuable to work with another teacher in a mentor situation.  I think it's valuable to learn to work and function with different groups of people.  If my kid were in a B&M school all day every day, I think choices would be different.  My kids wouldn't be doing all the committed activities they're into right now.  At this point, they pretty much own them.

 

My son has been on a youth council for 2 years and he decided he wants to be done with his run with it this summer when his 2nd year is over.  I did encourage him to continue for year 2.  But it's disorganized and some of the members create a ton of drama, so not the best use of time.  If it were better, I'd encourage him to continue and I suspect he'd want to.  I did say that he can quit, but he needs to find some way to do regular volunteer type work because that group did that kind of thing.

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My daughter has been a dream to raise, but I'm finding that even the best behaved kids can, on occasion, be a bit judgy when they hit college age and know everything. I've decided not to take this phase any more personally than I did toddler tantrums or puberty.

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My daughter has been a dream to raise, but I'm finding that even the best behaved kids can, on occasion, be a bit judgy when they hit college age and know everything. I've decided not to take this phase any more personally than I did toddler tantrums or puberty.

 

Ah, I remember well when dh lost all his brain cells and became the stupidest man on earth. He couldn't possibly know anything. He couldn't possibly relate to any experiences. I was left out of that I think because I came into dss' life when he was older - almost 14. I think had I been there since he was younger I would have also become stupid.

 

When dss hit about 24, dh suddenly regained his intelligence and wisdom and became the go-to guy for advice.  :lol:

Edited by Lady Florida.
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I'm sorry, Mama. I was just recently reading about how memory is an amazing thing and we can (and do) totally restyle memories, and even completely fabricate them, to fit the story we're telling ourselves.

 

FWIW, I had a similar complaint about my upbringing, to yours, and I compensated similarly. I felt like my parents offered not a shred of guidance or wisdom or advice throughout my teens. By their perspective, they probably think they were being un-meddlesome. But to me it felt like they didn't bother to think about what we would do one bit. So I am not un-meddlesome with my kids. I push, pull, or drag them if necessary, rather than sit blithely by, as my parents seemed to. But it is certainly possible that my kids will one day say, "Why did you drag us on all those college tours? Why did you put tab-markers on all the majors you thought we should pursue? Why did you make me sit in the office for 12 hours, going through every single sentence of my research paper to make it as good as it could possibly be? Wouldn't it be good enough if it were just good enough?"

 

It could happen.

 

A friend of mine who has hsed all her kids, all the way up, said her eldest is very anti-hsing now. I thought, "Wow! i would be crushed!" But he may not stay that way. He's just an angsty 20-something. What does he know?

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I think a lot of 18-22 yos are just awful. I'm sorry to anyone that offends and I'm sure your Sally is the exception. However, as a gross generalization, it's the most myopic, self-centered, king of the world age that I've experienced. 

 

I'm hopeful that things change. I love all of the 24 year olds in my life.

 

I laughed, the bolded is so true.  Oh my goodness, yes.   Thankfully, all of them aren't this way, but when you have one, you just have to somehow survive this. 

I'm praying to see the light. 

 

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I'm sorry, Mama. I was just recently reading about how memory is an amazing thing and we can (and do) totally restyle memories, and even completely fabricate them, to fit the story we're telling ourselves.

 

FWIW, I had a similar complaint about my upbringing, to yours, and I compensated similarly. I felt like my parents offered not a shred of guidance or wisdom or advice throughout my teens. By their perspective, they probably think they were being un-meddlesome. But to me it felt like they didn't bother to think about what we would do one bit. So I am not un-meddlesome with my kids. I push, pull, or drag them if necessary, rather than sit blithely by, as my parents seemed to. But it is certainly possible that my kids will one day say, "Why did you drag us on all those college tours? Why did you put tab-markers on all the majors you thought we should pursue? Why did you make me sit in the office for 12 hours, going through every single sentence of my research paper to make it as good as it could possibly be? Wouldn't it be good enough if it were just good enough?"

 

It could happen.

 

A friend of mine who has hsed all her kids, all the way up, said her eldest is very anti-hsing now. I thought, "Wow! i would be crushed!" But he may not stay that way. He's just an angsty 20-something. What does he know?

 

Not surprising, since we agree on little, but I had the completely non-meddlesome parents and appreciated it so much, and that is why we were so close.  I am still astonished how my mom kept her mouth shut, even when she should not have done so, even when I would have been screaming, "What the heck are you THINKING?".  You should see the letter my older brother once wrote to her, praising her to the heavens for letting him just grow and learn from his own mistakes. 

 

I should have followed her wisdom and didn't.  No, I was full of good advice, especially as an old parent who has gained more life wisdom and experienced more than most. 

 

One of mine hates that and wishes I were like my mother, completely hands off.   No human being can push, pull, or prod this one. 

 

You just can't freaking win as a parent.  No matter what you had, you don't fully appreciate it, maybe until you are old.  

 

No matter what you did, it won't be appreciated - until much later, I hear. 

 

Agree on the angsty 20 year olds who know nothing, though.  It isn't a good time to figure out what they will be.   

Edited by TranquilMind
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Ah, I remember well when dh lost all his brain cells and became the stupidest man on earth. He couldn't possibly know anything. He couldn't possibly relate to any experiences. I was left out of that I think because I came into dss' life when he was older - almost 14. I think had I been there since he was younger I would have also become stupid.

 

When dss hit about 24, dh suddenly regained his intelligence and wisdom and became the go-to guy for advice.  :lol:

 

That's funny.

 

You know what else is funny?  When the kids rewrite their own history and tell you something that was NOT THE WAY IT HAPPENED.  At all.  You know, because you suffered through it.

 

Sometimes I do succeed in keeping my mouth shut now, and it really is the best thing. 

 

 

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I had a rough upbringing, too, and I have three parents who also come from terrible backgrounds. I had a lot of anger in my twenties (I'm 30 now). Shortly after my first baby was born, when I was 24, I was walking with my mom. It was the first time I had ever broached a conversation with her about all I felt she'd done wrong, and I really laid it on thick. She listened so patiently, then told me something I never forgot.

 

"Your twenties are for anger, and processing, and hating your past. In your thirties you'll make peace with all of this."

 

She didn't apologize. She didn't defend herself. And I was extremely frustrated, because I thought all I wanted was an acknowledgment and an apology. But she's been proven right. I went on to have three more children in six years, and I realized a couple years ago that everyone really did the best they could with some crummy circumstances. I wanted to blame them for everything I thought was wrong with my adult life, but the truth is, there comes a time that we all have to choose to forgive and bear the burden of responsibility for our own choices. I already know that while I do my best, I make lots of mistakes and don't meet all my children's needs like I would like to.

 

I hope I'm doing a more balanced job than my own folks did, and I hope my children show me the grace I try to show my parents. But I fully expect them to deal with resentments as they become adults, and I'm likely going to tell them the same thing my mother told me.

Wise mom! 

 

And you are a wise daughter. 

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To the OP, we've been through this with a couple of our kids and the best response I could come up with was, "I'm so glad that you've become this great person in spite of all my mistakes...and yours!" (And then I walk away and my face crumbles a bit so I have a Dr. Pepper to make things better.)

I have to save this post to remind me to stock up on Dr. Pepper before my kids hit this age...

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Some conversations with my daughters just today.

 

I informed them they would be given some "work" to do today and just about every day all summer.  (My eldest needs to practice academics due to learning issues.)  My eldest calmly said, "do you know what summer vacation is?  It's supposed to be time off for rest and relaxation.  Not work."  (Not that this is anything new - we've been doing this for nearly 5 continuous years.)  I am sure this is going to come up when they are young adults.  I was a terrible mom because I went to a lot of time and expense to help them keep up at school.

 

My other kid, who doesn't love gymnastics but did choose to do it for another year.  "I'll never be able to do a back walkover, never."  Me:  "I never could either, nor can a lot of people, so if you don't learn it, at least you're in good company."  Her:  "you didn't want to be taught, right?"  Me:  "I never had the opportunity to take classes.  My next door neighbor taught me what she could, but that was it.  I would have loved to take gymnastics."  Another thing to look forward to - being hated for putting my kid in gymnastics, thinking it would be better than the deal I got.

 

Oh well.  :)

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I grew up in a culture (and maybe a time?) where parents pretty much all parented the same way. So even if there was resentment, it wasn't necessarily a PERSONAL thing towards one's parents because .... well, everyone you knew was subject to the same parenting style and experiences you were 'suffering' through! It was the way THINGS were, not the way one's PARENTS were. We all had to make awesome grades, we all had to play instruments, we all had to earn our parents some level of bragging rights, we all had to major in pre-med or pre-law LOL.

 

When I moved to the US and started college, I saw how differently those (of my cultural/ethnic background) who had been raised in the US (outside of ethnic enclaves) felt. They shared the view of their peers that it was a PARENT fault rather than a SOCIAL fault or "just the way things are" kind of thing. They were collectively raised in heterogeneous communities where there existed an actual base of comparison.

 

I just find it all very interesting.

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Ah, I remember well when dh lost all his brain cells and became the stupidest man on earth. He couldn't possibly know anything. He couldn't possibly relate to any experiences. I was left out of that I think because I came into dss' life when he was older - almost 14. I think had I been there since he was younger I would have also become stupid.

 

When dss hit about 24, dh suddenly regained his intelligence and wisdom and became the go-to guy for advice. :lol:

It's a bit of a national health crisis. I don't understand how all if these parents get so dumb the minute their kids hit college. What's WRONG with us????

 

I'm just gonna smugly hold my tongue until she reproduces, but I'll sure be thinking some snarky thoughts.

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I grew up in a culture (and maybe a time?) where parents pretty much all parented the same way. So even if there was resentment, it wasn't necessarily a PERSONAL thing towards one's parents because .... well, everyone you knew was subject to the same parenting style and experiences you were 'suffering' through! It was the way THINGS were, not the way one's PARENTS were. We all had to make awesome grades, we all had to play instruments, we all had to earn our parents some level of bragging rights, we all had to major in pre-med or pre-law LOL.

 

When I moved to the US and started college, I saw how differently those (of my cultural/ethnic background) who had been raised in the US (outside of ethnic enclaves) felt. They shared the view of their peers that it was a PARENT fault rather than a SOCIAL fault or "just the way things are" kind of thing. They were collectively raised in heterogeneous communities where there existed an actual base of comparison.

 

I just find it all very interesting.

 

My friend from India, who met me when I was 22, was horrified at how American young adults talk about their parents.  She figured it was a sign of a very sick culture.  According to her, nobody in India ever talked this way.  (That might have been slightly inaccurate, whatever.)  But like I said before, this kind of talk is encouraged rather than discouraged in the circles where young US people move about.  Hopefully my friend has since noticed that young people do eventually grow out of it.  :)

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My older son recently told me that he resented my decision to homeschool him in high school.  It apparently was news to him that *he* was the one who insisted upon it!

 

"When I said I didn't want to go to private school, charter school, public school, magnet school, or any other type of school, I didn't mean I wanted to homeschool. I just meant that I would stop arguing since you wouldn't give up on this whole 'education' thing."

 

OP, I am sorry.

 

I do think we are all going to face that. I resented my mom's choices a LOT more before I had kids. Now I'm just grateful I didn't die, LOL.

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I am seeing this with everyone now. I never did this. I think it's a part of the entitled generation. The internet seems to be gas lighting it too.

 

I am not entirely certain what you mean by the entitled generation - do you mean the one that put the country 15+ trillion dollars in debt, or the one that allowed the manufacturing base to move overseas, or the one that ruined the environment in the name of profits?

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Re: the OP, my parents did a pretty great job.  For the few things I had to process through, I found it really helpful for them to explain their own childhoods, so I could understand where they were coming from.  This gave me not only sympathy for them (so I didn't blame them as much for things I disagreed with) but also the ability to separate their ideas from mine and make a correct decision about things in my adult life.

 

So here are a couple of examples: my dad had a lot of phobias.  I picked up many of them and some extras of my own; some of them I didn't even recognize as phobias, and just thought it was the way everyone did things.  For instance, we never ever did fireworks.  Dad had seen, when he was 7 or so, the house across the street burn down and a dead (burned) child taken out of it.  He was not a fan of fire of any sort. He hated candles, fireplaces, etc.  We sure weren't ever doing something like fireworks.  So when DH wanted to do them every 4th of July, in the driveway no less, I was constantly nervous about it.  It wasn't until my mom explained about Dad's childhood experience that I realized I had gotten an incorrect impression of how dangerous candles and fireworks were, and I could both sympathize with him (and not blame him for a firework-free childhood) and assess the actual danger more accurately.

 

My mom's mom had 5 kids in 8 years starting at age 18.  My mom was the oldest.  When Mom was 12, her mother ran off with a grad student, taking Mom and the youngest kid (then 3 or 4) and leaving the middle 3.  Just ran off.  Didn't see them again until adulthood.  Part of it was that she was super selfish, part of it was that she was somewhat overwhelmed by so many dependents (she had been an only child, and kind of a spoiled one).

 

So for Mom, having lots of kids, especially close in age, especially when young, was just Not Good.  She managed to give me the impression as a kid that having lots of kids was Unacceptable and abortion was much preferable to babies, esp. at a young age.

 

When I finally made the connection between these ideas and her childhood experiences, I stopped resenting Mom for both teaching me something I felt was incorrect (that lots of kids are not good and abortion is fine) and for not liking my being pregnant so often :)  

 

To her credit, she recognized the same thing around baby #4 and has been at least outwardly very supportive since then.

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I believe that we all parent based on regrets from our childhoods (not only regrets but you get what I'm saying).  We are all trying really hard to be the best parents we can be so we look back at our childhood and try to repeat the things we loved and avoid the "mistakes" we felt our parents made.  You felt your parents weren't supportive enough so you, from you dd's perspective, were a bit too involved.  Now your dds will grow up to have children and they will probably do the opposite of what you did, and guess what, their kids may feel like you did about your parents.  And around and around we go...  Can't wait for my kids to grow up and tell me what I did wrong  :001_rolleyes:

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I haven't read any replies, but I have assumed from the start that no matter what I do, my kids will find fault with it eventually and wish I had done something better. I've even talked about it. I tell them that I'm not perfect, but I hope they'll remember that I am doing the best I can, and they should cut me some slack. ;) Children done come with instruction books. I think my middle child will be fine. My oldest will probably hate me for various things. :p

 

It sounds like you too did the best you could and I think they'll outgrow feeling like it was too much. My husband felt at that age that his parents should have pushed him more, that his lack of motivation and ambition in his teens was something they should have tried to overcome. Now, in his 30s, he realizes there is probably nothing they could have done about it.

 

However, if there is some small lesson to take, it's that even though we SAY our kids can quit or scale back on activities, they might feel the pressure from what we want or what they think we want, or even from coaches, peers, etc, to continue to work hard. Which isn't always a bad thing. Coaches, peers, parents, can give motivation to work hard when interest is down. They overcame difficulties, they saw what they could accomplish, and they saw that they could deal with a lot of pressure. They'll be fine. :) Try not to take it too personally. I think that's just an angsty age where everyone is really thinking about their childhood and almost everyone finds it lacking in some way.

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I always said my mother gave me a shining example of the type of mother I didn't want to be. For the most part my parenting is completely different. However, I also knew that they would have their own laundry list of everything I did wrong.

 

Whenever they are angry at me for something I have always told them to add it to the list of all the ways my mother wronged me that they are keeping for their future therapists.

 

My son turned 18 a couple of months ago and my daughter will be 16 next week. My son has made it very clear all the ways I have ruined his life. From his disabled father to homeschooling high school. From letting him quit the clarinet to forcing him to stay on his club swim team his junior year when he hated his coach.

 

If there is one thing I have learned it is that the children will not understand any of it until they are adults with kids of their own.

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I always said my mother gave me a shining example of the type of mother I didn't want to be. For the most part my parenting is completely different. However, I also knew that they would have their own laundry list of everything I did wrong.

 

Whenever they are angry at me for something I have always told them to add it to the list of all the ways my mother wronged me that they are keeping for their future therapists.

 

My son turned 18 a couple of months ago and my daughter will be 16 next week. My son has made it very clear all the ways I have ruined his life. From his disabled father to homeschooling high school. From letting him quit the clarinet to forcing him to stay on his club swim team his junior year when he hated his coach.

 

If there is one thing I have learned it is that the children will not understand any of it until they are adults with kids of their own.

 

I love how you are in trouble for letting him quit and for NOT letting him quit. It's like they can't even hear themselves. I guess if they were satisfied they'd never get the urge to leave and start their own lives and families.  Young adult arrogance is nature's way of ensuring we survive as a species :-)

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My eldest (9yo) is naturally athletic.  I encourage this so that she has something to be proud of, since school is hard for her.  But we only do rec level sports, and I am very laid back about them.  Each year, this kid tries for the Presidential Fitness Award.  In past years she missed it only because of the flexibility part; so I encourage her to stretch, but she rarely does.  Each year she's bummed that she missed the PFA.

 

So this year she asked me, "Mom, will you be very upset with me if I don't get Presidential?"  I don't know where that came from.  I always think I'm being supportive; I've never been "upset" about an outcome in sports.  Whoda thunk that giving a suggestion to help her meet *her* goal would come across "get Presidential or else"?  And who knows how many other things are being interpreted similarly?

 

FTR she did get Presidential this year, and she was beaming.  :)  Funny to think how she may twist this against me someday.  :P

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Oh, mama, I'm sorry.  I do think part of it is their ages -- parents are really stupid when you're that age.  They magically become smart again a few years later.  It's very possible that your girls will change their opinions when they're parents themselves.

 

Also, you made the best choices you could with the information you had at the time, and that's all any of us can do.  It sounds like you were caring, supportive, and conscientious, and you sound like an awesome mom!  Kids aren't always able to interpret parental motives and to see the bigger picture.

 

(((HUGS)))

 

Two of my three kids in the teen/young adult stage moved out to college this year, and while I definitely miss them, on the other hand it has been far easier on my self-image. Having a house full of kids at this age was like living with a a house full of people who think I don't know anything. It starts to add up and feel like an assault--and I'm not one who is easily bruised.

 

I try not to take it personally. I do try and acknowledge the big stuff, either telling them I thought I was making the best decision at the time, or agreeing that it was a mistake and in hindsight I wish I'd done differently. But the small stuff is most likely going to get a sarcastic response along the lines of "So I ruined your life by not letting you have a Gameboy in kindergarten. Do you need therapy for this? I'd be glad to make a call to set up an appointment." This approach seems to help the most with my clan. 

 

Of course, if I did have an overly sensitive child, and/or one who genuinely did seem negatively impacted by choices we'd made, I'd make a sincere effort to find them help. But most of the time it's just a matter of letting them express their belief that theirs is the only generation in the history of the world that knows what they're talking about and is doing this journey called life the right way. Just like every other generation before them.  :laugh:

Edited by Pippen
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