The Power of Having Been Parented Well

by Sonja on September 20, 2008

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I goofed as a parent yesterday; I explained a scientific fact to my daughter in a way that made her feel rotten. So in the evening, I did what I always do when I feel like I need help with a parenting issue — I talked it over with my husband.

As usual, I was impressed with the immediacy and certainty of his response. I had come to the same conclusion myself, but I had to think about it, whereas he just knew. We talked over how this kind of situation could be handled in the future, and started thinking about how we might help her understand the specific question that had started it all. I’m confident that we’ve made progress on the issue — and I’m grateful to have such a competent co-parent.

We met in college 20 years ago, where his friends all joked that he’d grown up in Mayberry. I think he was the only person I knew in college who didn’t have issues with his parents. Over the years, I’ve had a chance to see how his parents handle situations with their adolescent and adult children, and listened to them talk about parenting issues, particularly as they’ve become grandparents. It’s clear to me that they really complement each other as parents, and that while of course they aren’t perfect, they’re far better parents than most. Now that we have children of our own, I’ve had the chance to see that his upbringing has provided my husband with parenting instincts I wish I had!

I know I can be a good parent even though my own upbringing wasn’t as positive, but I have to work a lot harder. I hope that some day, our children will find good parenting coming as easily to them as it does to my husband — then I’ll know we got it right!

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Sonja (9 Posts)


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Naomifrederickmd September 20, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I find the same thing with my husband… he is very open and confident about parenting, He enjoys being a parent and I see it must because his parents enjoyed parenting him. I like co-parenting with him. I hope my boys will enjoy being fathers also after experiencing us as parents.

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Theresa September 22, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Share some of their strategies!

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Jessica September 25, 2008 at 5:28 am

Thank you for sharing this story! It was quite inspiring. I truly hope that together my husband and I can raise our daughter to be a good parent herself. It feels good to think that the gentle parenting we rely on can influence generations to come.

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Christian AP Mama September 26, 2008 at 4:30 pm

I was blessed with wonderful parents. The only catch is that my mom spanked, and I decided to abandon this hand-me-down parenting technique once I read all the research/materials related to AP. While learning to not spank was hard, my mom (who did spank us) is very supportive so she’s been a big help.

Overall, parenting comes naturally and easy to me. But it’s not the same for my husband. His parents left some dark marks in the way he parents, and he finds it not at all easy or natural. It can be difficult for me to have patience with him sometimes; that’s something I’ve found is harder to learn than to not spank!

I wish there was an easy way to teach parents who weren’t raised with AP how to adopt those Principles, like a9-step guide or something, because sometimes even if you really want to, it’s still easy to fall back to the “old ways” of thinking in times of stress — and during those times of stress, well, that’s when AP works the best.

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