I think half of this parenting journey is feeling guilty about the way you treated your own parents. Numerous times in my short parenting stint I’ve apologized to my parents for things I did as a kid. Today, as I teared up leaving the craft store because of the embarrassing behavior of my children, I had a flashback to my childhood. I don’t recall the exact incident (there are probably too many to remember), but I do remember embarrassing my mom. Most likely it came after a visit to Mervyn’s department store where my brother and I would hide in clothing racks, pick up straight pins and find various ways to entertain ourselves. Then my mom would get mad, we’d leave and then she’d be upset on the drive home about how we acted.
While I was both angry and emotional about my own girls’ behavior, I felt a deep remorse for all the times I did that to my own mom. Children don’t see beyond their actions, they don’t see the consequences of their behavior–how they affect other people. We must teach our children the consequences, to see how their behavior impacts others. How words can cut and hands can harm. I’m thankful my own parents loved me and kept showing me the right way.
I have to say there is humor in the payback of childhood actions. When my dad would pray with me each night before bed, I would pull the sheet up over my mouth and nose and tell him he needed a “Certs” (do they even make those anymore?). Now, my own daughter does the same to me and tells me how my breath stinks.
So to all those grandparents out there, patiently waiting for the payback to settle in: don’t worry, it’s coming! One day, you too will get a text message for the bad breath and bad behavior comments your children once made. To my own parents: I’m sure I’ll be sending many more apologies to you soon.
Thanks for letting me share,