Turning into our parents

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Why do we become our parents?

Heard the story about the person who yells at their kid only to hear their parent’s voice coming from their mouth? As we age we tend to imitate the behavior of those we saw and learned from back in our younger days. For some people, this brings a chuckle, a realization that we have moved from being kids who can’t understand why our parents did something to adults who do the same things for the same reasons.

For some people turning into your parent brings terror.

There was a time when we thought all parents were great role models. At least that was what “Leave it to Beaver” portrayed. If parents were less than perfect we didn’t talk about that. Things were great in the country and then the suburbs. Those bad things only happen to others, the ones who lived in big cities.

Today the majority of us live in big cities and now we know that for all our efforts to pretend those things didn’t happen they did and still do. More people are telling me these days that their parents did drugs, molested them, and deserted them. Today we know that in the rural towns, young people are dying from overdoses of pills, and parents abuse and neglect their children when they do drugs. Today we don’t hide the abuse and pain, and more of us are mandated reporters.

People will accuse me of being jaundiced when I say these things. They tell me there are still people who want to be just like mom or dad. It helps to hear those stories. It makes me hope. Maybe we can teach people to be better parents. Maybe we can treat addiction and mental illness. Maybe we can have a future that is brighter than the present.

Then I talk with another person who was abused or molested or neglected as a child. They tell me that their parent was too into drugs or alcohol or some other thing to care about them. I see lots of grandparents raising their children’s children. I ask how this happened.

Grandma or grandpa or both, they used to do drugs. They got clean and sober just in time to raise the grandkids. It pains them to see their children repeating the same mistakes.

A client tells me they remember how it affected them when their parents did these things. Then they cry and tell me they are doing those same things, they are becoming just like their parents, and not in a good way.

People work hard sometimes, they deny themselves and they buy their kids everything, toys, gadgets, clothing. Then the child does drugs or falls into gangs. That child might tell us that they had things but they never felt loved. They got into relationships, sick abusive drug involved relationships. They still don’t feel loved.

They have children. Sometimes they straighten up for the kids. Sometimes society takes the kids away. The girl whose mother drank during pregnancy, the girl with permanent disabilities as a result of her mother’s drinking. She tells me she doesn’t know why she started drinking. Why couldn’t she stop drinking for her child?

For better or worse sometimes we turn into our parents. What kind of parent do you want your children to become?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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2 thoughts on “Turning into our parents

  1. That is the right question. What kind of parent do we want our children to become. I have two wonderful children and my first thought every day is “how can I do the best for their long term”.


  2. They say it takes a number of generations to make change in a family. There are many area’s that I refuse to act like my parents in and I make extreme efforts to essentially not parent like my parents did (actually wrote a blog post entitled that) but am I doing a better job? Only time will tell, will my children have just as many issues with my parenting as I have with my parents? I hope not. I hope my children continue the evolutionary change and become their own people and parent in their own unique way, I certainly do not want them to just be a carbon copy of anyone. Mostly though I hope my children parent from a position of kindess and respect for their future children.


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