“My parents are role models because of the way that they interact and care for
other people, besides us.”
College Student, in his early 20s; as a child, lived in large western, Midwestern, and southern cities with his parents and 2 brothers, 1 older and 1 younger; single, no children.
© By Niki Glanz, Posted 6/08/18
The biggest thing as far as childhood happiness was family. There was parent talk, like them telling you what to do, but my parents also tried to do the right thing. I didn’t have to cultivate a happy, childhood environment – my parents did that.
They were sure to apologize when they thought they had done something wrong. I was homeschooled, [although] me and my brothers did go to a private school when my mom taught there for a couple years. That was when language processing became more of an issue for me. Finally, I went to a public high school and got tested because I wasn’t doing well. We found out that I had some learning disabilities. My dad apologized about not getting help sooner; he thought girls matured quicker and figured I just needed to grow into it.
Another time me and my younger brother were at the dinner table, and my parents were having an argument. We left eventually. They called us back to the table; they wanted to apologize because they shouldn’t have argued in front of us. Since we were there, we told them, “This is what happened, you guys. Dad, your anger was in the way; Mom, you weren’t paying attention to him.” I think that made for a very safe family environment.
That’s another big thing: we always had dinner together. My dad says he prayed that one day we’d all be friends, so my parents wanted to cultivate that. But when we were younger, it wasn’t buddy-buddy – just that they hoped there would be a transition.
My dad tried to make sure that we all knew we were loved for who we were. When I was homeschooling, I would get very frustrated, and we’d get in arguments. I’d say, “I can’t do it!”
They would be like, “You’re not trying!”
One time, because I was mad at my mom, I wrote this mean letter. My dad later read it back to me with inflection; he was like, “This is my wife, and you don’t treat her that way!” The same if me and my brothers called each other names, “That’s my son; lay off!”
Nobody’s perfect; my parents were definitely very human. Mood swings, sure. And they had their flaws; sometimes what you loved about a person also was the flaw. My mom was very caring. My dad was, “Urrr,” like having a lion in him, so he could be strong-willed.
Growing up, Saturdays were always chores. We would want to watch cartoons, but after a while, my dad would be like, “You’ve got to do chores now.”
I would think, “Wow, it was silly that we had to do chores right then,” so I would argue.
He’d say, “I’ll do them, but it’s going to cost you,” because his time was more valuable than mine. That meant I wouldn’t get my allowance. Or if there was clutter on the floor, he could get hyperbolic. There were resentments; parents are parents.
RETURN NEXT WEEK, 6/13, FOR THE THRILLING CONCLUSION TO DANIEL’S
MEMORIES TO MOMENTUM STORY
Memories Matter. We often find the way forward by looking back. Hope you enjoyed the story!
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Homeschooling, language processing, learning disability, apologize, parents arguing, father, dad, family dinner, childhood chores, allowance, childhood resentments