If you read my blog, you know I spend a lot of time thinking about how to be a better parent. Today I’m thinking about childhood memories. I’d like my kids to think back on their childhood with fond memories. But I wonder if I really have much to do with that?
I had a good childhood. I had friends and “stuff” and opportunities and experiences and my parents treated me well. But when I think back now, while I have a fuzzy notion that my childhood was “good,” my most vivid memories are of the bad stuff. Fights with friends or parents, embarrassing moments, stupid/dangerous things I did. I have a few memories of really happy times, but they are very few. As in I could count them on one hand.
I am generally a “glass half-empty” kinda girl. I have never been the happy-go-lucky, perky one. I’m the practical, serious one. So maybe my brain is simply hard-wired to allow the negative to have a greater impression? Maybe the things my kids will remember when they get older will have very little to do with my parenting skills.
I don’t want to get too deep into a nature vs nurture conversation here, but sometimes as a parent you wonder just how much the stressing and worrying we do over raising our kids will really amount to when they become adults. In my personal case, I feel like the “nature” part played a bigger role. I definitely have personality traits that my parents have. But I can’t say for sure that it’s inherent because I don’t know what my parents consciously did to raise me a certain way. I suppose this is a question that can never really be answered. If it were, we’d all have the secret key to perfect parenting.
It seems to me that we become who we are not because of the things we have or do, but because of the personalities we are exposed to regularly. It’s the example we set as parents and not so much any one thing we do. Maybe. Who knows.
What is your experience? Do you have more good or bad memories from your childhood? And do you think your personality has anything to do with that? Do you think you’ve become who you are because of things your parents did or because of who they are inherently?