my minds journey

Thursday, November 30, 2006

That curious parent child relationship - what are the influencing factors?

The second year cadets had their silver star luncheon today, it is the meal where the parents, well the mother I believe, is given a silver star upon the pending commissioning of their child as an officer. It got me thinking about parents in general. People have such a variety of relationships with their parents. In many eases, the parent has implicity or expliciting had an influence on who the child becomes. This biological parent provides nature, the child rearers the nurture. In many cases the two are but one and the same. What an influence - yet in many ways I feel it unfair to heap all the 'blame' on the parents. I read one article that spoke of children as strangers entering the space of your home. People in their own right, whom the parent learns about and gets to know. I guess I found this freeing for the child, a restoration of the child as an individual is part of a greater community, even as small as the family. It would be just asa naive to claim the parents had no influence as to claim they held full responsibilty.

I am reading a book, "We need to talk about Kevin," in which a mother reflects on her journey as a mother to a son who at 16 commits a murderous act. It very blatantly asks the question, just how much did she shape what her son had become? I'm often told that know my mother, "oh you're so like your mother." I see in myself aspects of my parents that I like and perhaps some traits that I am less comfortable with. It begs the question just how much do our parents shape who we become? Whe do we begin to take responsibility for it ourselves?

I think in some cases I have felt a sense of responsibility for my parents, for their behaviour, for who they are. Yet I am led to question myself as to where my responsibility stops and theirs begins.

In some ways I guesss it is not dissimilar to the embarassment of a young person when their parent is in the presence of their peers. the embarassment is caused by the feeling of responsibility the young person has for the parent's actions. Yet in reality the child has usually little contol, much less responsibility for their parents behaviour. The point of my ramblings is to explore the curious link we have with those who we call family.

To what extent is the parent responsible for the child they produce? Following on from that, as a child to what extent is a parent a reflection on the child?


  • Hey Melissa!
    Well... i think i can actually comment on this blog! YEY!

    I didnt really understand the first part... BIG words that make no sense? I know that parents can have an effect on our lives. However, that choice can be either positive or negative... I beleive that our parents may influence our lives, but again, we decide whther that influence can be positive or negative...

    I see this ALOT with religion. (that spelling doesnt look rite)
    I see many children/teens finding their own way to church, finding their own faith as they cannot rely on their parents faith or values.

    I know myself, my parents had an influence that most would see as negative, but then, that has shaped my values (which i beleive are good) As in, if you watch your parents do one thing, you see the negative effects that it has on their lives and so... you stay as far away as possible, in that sense it can be a negative influence turning into positive values? Make sense?

    Also though, i think that some children can feel forced to beleive the same as their parents... especially with religion, the bible says to honour your mother and father, which can sometimes lead to conflict with honouring god... so there is MAJOR controversial thoughts on that...

    Well, i could ramble on some more..i have MANY MANY thoughts on this... but still.. i'll leave it at that cause im paying for the internet service at the moment...

    Anyhows... Great post! I look forward to seeing wot others think!
    Love talz

    By Blogger Talz, at 1:44 pm  

  • wow! heavy post! And when you through in the grace of God it becomes even more confusing!

    Im reminded of the family tree of the Jews. David, Solomon etc and all their sons. Some were good others bad some started out good and turned bad, others turned out good but started bad...

    Thank God he can transform us!(not saying parents are negative though!lol)

    By Blogger james, at 9:27 pm  

  • Something that has come up often with Mum lately as she's reading 'The Hurting Parent' and stuff...

    It's a good question, I think parents help us shape who we become, but not always alot. Like, they might help ALOT or they could just have the speck of an influence that could be from one extreme to the other -- the piece of you that knows there's something more becuase your parents were churchy's -- or -- your smoking habit.

    I don't know....I'm tired!

    By Blogger charlotte, at 11:38 pm  

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