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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read a lot on these boards since I found them. And it seems to me that a lot of us has had a pretty shitty childhood. Myself included.<br><br>
Is that the reason why we have chosen to parent the way we do?<br><br>
Out of fear of repeating our own childhood?<br><br>
I grw up in a home with an abusive, alcoholic stepdad. He abused my mom really, really bad during the 10 years they stayed together. He also sexually abused my younger sister, his daughter.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
He beat us kids sometimes too, but not often. The times he DID, it didn`t bother me that much actually. It bothered me sooo much more that he hurt my mom.<br><br>
So I grew up not knowing anything but anger, hitting and yelling. I still struggle everyday with memories of my past. The feeling that I wasn`t worth anything, still hurts.<br><br>
This affects my relationship with Noah.<br>
Being so used to the hitting and yelling, it often is the first thing that pops into my head in different situations.<br>
When I get angry/upset/tired, I want to yell. When he hits me, I want to hit back. I never do.<br><br>
I so desperately want to teach my son about love, respect and the beauty in life.<br><br>
Thats why I parent the way I do. To give him a better start than I had. Because he deserves it. We all do.<br><br>
Why did you start parenting the way you do?
 

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I think that the way I was raised is definately a factor in my decision to GD. But I would not say that I am "reacting" to it at all. In fact, my initial inclination was just to repeat what was done to me and not think much of it. At this point I can honestly say that much of the way I was raised stands out in my mind as "not the way," I think the gentle methods I've decided to use are more a result of thought and study. This is something I've thought through and chosen intentionally -- not just an emotional reaction, KWIM?
 

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I think it may be partially based on the way I was raised and I think part of it has to do with the fact that we seem to be moving toward being more conscious of a person's spirit and how things said and done, especially with children, can really affect a person.<br><br>
I had a great childhood and yet I still want to parent differently than my parents. I guess it's more like a striving to do better now that I know better.<br><br>
BTW, my mom said she would do things VERY differently if she raised us now. Both my sister and I AP and she sees a great deal of value in that.
 

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I think it is a part of it but there are many influences. For me, I began by parenting by instinct, bf, which led to co-sleeping which led to reading Dr. Sears which led to Ap and on and on until I found this forum and other support groups in my community. I also think our parents lived in a very different society that stressed bottle feeding, being "strict", and was very unaccepting of lifestyles that did not fit the mold. Spanking was very commonplace then. They also did not have the financial or community support/resources that I did. When I had my only ds he was very much wanted and his parents were financially stable and had completed their eductions. My parents had 4 children and had to live on a strict budget. My parents were from totally different backgrounds and my mother had only an 8th grade education. I do remember thinking many times as a child "I would never say or do that to my child..." Now, I wonder how I could possibly do it under the circumstances they did.
 

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thanks for the topic suggestion CrunchyTamara! I have been thinking a lot about this subject lately. Both my dh and I are AP parents to 2 young children. We see from our own childhoods so much of what we DON'T want to do with our children. My dh had abusive parents and my parents, while not abusive, were not emotionally attached in their parenting strategies. My mother's parenting was using the "guilt and shame" approach to get her children to comply with her unrealistic expectations regarding child development.<br><br>
I have done a lot of reading, starting with Dr. Sears. Lately, I've been focusing on Harville Hendrix to support our decision to move to a more conscious marriage and conscious parenting. His books have been VERY useful to charting a new path, very different from how both of us were raised.<br><br>
Hendrix books: Getting the Love You Want (conscious marriage) and Giving the Love that Heals (conscious parenting)... I highly recommend them to anyone who is committed to AP and to building a stronger partnership and may not have the family or community support system to support this challenging (and meaningful) endeavor.
 

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Yes for me I choose to AP and have high hopes of using GD as well because of the abuse I faced as a child. When I was 12 I swore I would have kids and raise them how a child *should* be raised just to break the cycle of abuse (at least on my father's side he was abused as well as other family members as children...). Of course my ideas have changed a bit since I was 12, I don't think I'll let Orion have ice cream for dinner, or watch tv shows at 2am, or not clean his room for months, but the same idea is there. I want to raise him how he deserves to be raised. Like an important human being.<br><br>
I think my dad had at least a desire to do similar, but couldn't or wouldn't follow through (his alcholism didn't help). I remember a conversation with him when I first moved with him and he said "If I have something I can teach you, I will. And if you have something you can teach me, will you?". Really made me feel like I was a *person*. And when he wasn't mad as hell at me for stupid stuff he did let me teach him, or listened to my ideas, ect...<br><br>
I do have my dad's temper. Not quite as horrible, but its there. I *know* I WILL get mad as hell at my kids. I know it will probably happen over stupid stuff. But I plan on expressing it differently. Or taking a break. Or doing anything to keep myself from calling them horrible names, or spanking and beating them.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Is that the reason why we have chosen to parent the way we do?</td>
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For me, I think so but it wasn't a direct route. I think in a quest to understand my dysfunctional, abusive family, I 'ended up' studying psychology. I actually wanted to do an economics degree but found economics boring while psychology just made sense to me.<br><br>
I wasn't even aware at that stage how dysfunctional and abusive my family had been, although I knew they were odd. Studying psychology helped me realise that not all families were like mine. Funnily enough, I ended up studying developmental child psychology and writing my thesis on attachment behavior. So well after all those years of child psychology, I already had all these AP ideas, but never knew there was a term for it. It wasn't actually until during my pregnancy, that I read Dr. Sears and found there was a term for it.<br><br>
I was even rather surprised that AP was considered 'alternative' by some people. I used to live in Japan where some of the AP ideas are mainstream. In fact I was talking with a Japanese friend one day who told me about a great baby book she was reading by a Dr. Williams Sears. It had been translated into Japanese. I had to laugh - she said she followed the AP ideas in Sears book because it was the old fashioned Japanese way of child rearing.
 

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I think that my childhood experiences, while certainly not all negative, have a great deal to do with my parenting style today. There are some things that my mother did very well (she taught us to always question authority, and that our opinions were as vaild as those of adults) and some things that she did very poorly (I don't think my mother has shown approval for me or my behavior more than 3 or 4 times in my entire life. I can only think of one, off-hand). I am very concious of these things with Eli.<br><br>
It's a bit difficult for me sometimes, because I still have anger problems. Also, whenever I'm around my mother I yell. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I don't want my son learning that behavior, but changing my mother (so that I don't need to yell to get her attention or make her stop talking for a few seconds) is, as far as I can tell, impossible. I'm still working on that one.<br><br>
My dh, incidentally, did not grow up in an abusive situation or with scary or actively mean parents, and he too is very conscious of his parenting. As with me, there are things he feels his parents did well, and things they did poorly, and he wants to keep the good stuff and toss the bad. I guess everyone has things about their childhood that they'd like to change, and things that they want to stay the same (or similar). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I do so much I thought I would never do. Breastfeeding and co-sleeping helped things go the way I wanted them to go. I did things that felt right. I got criticized greatly. I did my research and I found mentors (2 families mainly one with 8 children 5 grandchildren, the other 3 grown children 2 grandchildren). It helped me see something that I knew: I was not nuts. Both families co-slept, like I had been, and they were/are normal people. After my mother came to visit and made me feel guilty I started reading like a mad woman.<br><br>
I had at a young age learned and started “watching” other families. I had a German/Chec get very mad at me because I had told her daughter to do something, this woman told me flat out “WE DO NOT BEHAVE THAT WAY THIS HOUSE.” At nine that was an eye opener.<br><br>
Is the way I parent because of how I was parented, in many ways yes. I have a past. I do not let it dictate who I am but it is a guide to what does not work and the key to unhappiness. I look at my family and see generations of anger, hate, and disfunction. I can either choose to be that way angry, lonely, hateful or I can choose to be loving and pass the gift of love on.<br><br>
I get so much crap from my family (I do not associate much with them anymore). My aunt who has one child, that happens to be in jail for crack, male prostitution, and theft continuously tells me how much I am messing my kids up. I laugh and say I cannot be doing any worse than you have. My mom is upset because she only talks to one of her three children regularly and that child beats his wife. I have looked, watched, and learned long enough to realize that if I raise my kids the way I was raised I will get them same. You reap what you sow.<br><br>
My husband’s had a much better childhood. Not AP/GD but a “good” family.<br><br>
My ex-husband on the other hand, became what at least is father was, distant and unable to show and act in a loving manner.
 

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Hmmm, well I certainly didn't have an abusive upbringing. I don't agree with some of my parents' choices (spanking, CIO) but they were loving and made up for it in so many other ways.<br><br>
What brought me to AP was a desire to RESEARCH my parenting decisions while I was still pregnant. Granted, I didn't realize there was anything to research much at first, until I got online and began to see that there were different ways of doing things.<br><br>
Honestly, I think what sets me apart from my parents is the very idea that parenting is a subject you can research and learn about through science. That it's not just intuitive. That it isn't just a matter of doing whatever your parents did. My mother and her generation often accuse me and my friends of "putting too much thought into everything". [WTF?]<br><br>
And, I think the reason you have so many people here discussing their abusive past is because they've put so much thought and feeling into their parenting, they have HAD to confront their own upbringing. I bet there are alot of dysfunctional parents out there who haven't yet drawn the connection between that and their own upbringing.
 

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I completely agree with your thoughts on this subject! My mother (and her friends and family of the same generation) have often told me that I (and my generation) "think too much", "talk about everything too much" etc... One of my mother's friends told me once I didn't need to shoulder the burden of the world....<br><br>
and I concur about having to confront one's past (how they were parented) in order to parent in an AP way. I know so many people who have yet to come to an understanding of the connection between how they were parented and how they parent their own children... Giving the Love that Heals (Hendrix) should be a free book given to all birthing families in the hospital!
 

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I don't know what GD is but I think I am AP style because I need to demonstrate the love and connection to my daughter that I never got as a child. Not hitting or spanking is a big deal to me for this reason. It helps me a lot, it makes me feel better and fills void inside that my parents gave me - which will never go completely away, but the love between my daughter and I has helped so much.<br><br>
My next hurdle to is to make more money than my parents did so she can do al lthe stuff I never got to as a child... also I want to be able to pay for her college so she won't be buried in debt for the rest of her life like I am...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all so much for taking the time to tell me your stories!<br><br>
And Oatmeal: I read your thread about having moneyproblems, and would just give you a big <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> ....<br><br>
I am so sorry you have to struggle with this!
 
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