Saturday, December 27, 2008

Does your upbringing dictate your parenting?

Here is a little background on me, so you all can get some better insight as to where I am coming from. I was raised by a single mother of 3 children, all with different fathers. I am the oldest of then 3 and now 4 children (my mom had a baby when I was 19 and already out of the house). As a child my mom had "issues" to say the least but I don't want anyone to think that this post is about slamming my mother because it is not. My mother is bipolar. She had to deal with us kids, her "issues", and her illness to contend with. My mother had the mouth of a sailor, called me names, and used violence as a tool for correction.

There was a long period of time that I blamed my mother for a lot of things that were wrong in my life. Now that I am older, a parent, and sober (yes, I said sober, I used to be an alcoholic and a pothead) , I understand my mother did the best she could under the circumstances. I love my mother very much and do not fault her for anything.

When I was growing up my mom had us kids go to church. Sometimes she went with us but most of the time she just dropped us off. So my faith is definitely rooted in my childhood and I will continue to expose my children to the Bible, Jesus, my faith, and church.

But there are things that happened in my childhood that I do not want to repeat as a parent. Like I want to have both parents in the daily routine because I never had my dad. In fact I have never met my real father. Sometimes when I am yelling at my children, I swear I can hear my mother's voice, that kind of creeps me out. When I am angry and most of the time having to clean up a mess made by my kids or dealing with two children that will not keep their hands to themselves, I will call them, "rude little brats" or something along those lines. I am really ashamed to admit that I have a potty mouth and use random expletives in anger. I have tried to curb the swearing by using "F-ing" but to be honest I would like to stop swearing altogether. So now that I have admitted that I am human and make huge mistakes when it comes to parenting, where do I go from there?

Besides the Bible, is there a good practical book on parenting that really works? Is there anyone out there that has experiences that they could share with me?

There are things that my mom did as I was growing up that I have not repeated. So what makes one thing better than another? Why do I have a potty mouth but I am not a pack rat (just as an example)?

I know for a fact that I will never be the perfect parent but I would like to give my children better than I had and sometimes I am not really sure how to go about that. Does anyone out there have any suggestions?


Jeanies Heavenly Treasures said...

Hi There,
Why don't you start with crying out to God to help you with whatever you want to change (the behavior). God, can move mountains, so I promise you, He can change this about you!
Also, don't beat yourself up when you "act" like your Mom. This is learned behavior. What's important is that you are aware of it.
I really love your blog. In fact, we must think alike. We both chose the same one! lol I love the sincerity of what you say!
God Bless You!

Donna Bragg said...

I really love your post today. It reminds me of me. I too grew up with bad behaviors all around me. My dad was an alcoholic and violent. I was so afraid of him all the time. I ended up doing drugs and getting into many things that could have taken my life, but like you, GOD would not allow us to continue. Mercy said no, I'M not going to let you go. Listen to the song from Greg Long. It is called "Mercy said No. It is a wonderful song. It gets me to my knee's everytime in a thanksgiving prayer.
HE will heal you of your behaviors. The closer your relationship with CHRIST, the more HE will make you like HIM. It will just come. Keep praying sister! Feel comfort, JESUS already paid the price for our sins.
I like what Jeanie said, that at least you are aware of it. That means GOD has revealed it to you and now you can let HIM help you with it. PRAISE GOD!
I will pray for you today!

Your sister in CHRIST,

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

I found these sites about parenting that may be helpful to you:

This one has advice for raising toddlers through teens, written by two moms with 9 children between them:
It has lots of good information and is easy to navigate to what you are interested in.

Juliette Vestal said...

Jeanie, you know it is always the last thing that you think of. When I pray I always pray for others with the exception of asking forgiveness for my sins, I try not to pray for myself because it feels as if i am being selfish. I know I should not feel that way but I just can't help myself. I will have to work on that in the new year.

Donna, God is so GREAT, that is for sure. When I think about where I came from, where I have been (I have hit bottom), and where I am now, it is only by God grace that I am still alive. Thank you for your words of encouragement they mean so much to me.

Karen, thanks for the tip on the site, I will surely look into it.

Sandi said...

I never really understood how abusive parents blamed their parents for what they did. If anything it teaches us exactly what NOT to do. I was raised in a house where getting spanked was pretty much a daily thing. More than once a day and usually by both parents. I won't be like that. I won't treat my kids like that. I love my parents but look back at all the beatings (because they really crossed over from spanking to beating most of the time) and I could NEVER do that. So I wouldn't worry too much. I think we learned and in the end we are better parents than they were.

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