19 thoughts on “Upbringing.”

  1. and thus started the domino theory! because it’s what ‘their’ parents did to them. and ‘their parents’ did to them. . . and on and on ad infinitum. I suppose we could keep going until we blamed Adam and Eve all over again! 🙂

    1. That argument about blaming your parents didn’t make sense to me. My version is if you followed it back it would be to the primates in the trees. Clearly some people break the pattern, so why not me too?

      I figure our parents and early experiences give us a rough draft of ourselves. It’s up to us to do the rewriting. It’s a more exciting, creative approach to life.

  2. I wouldn’t say “everything” depends on upbringing since I firmly believe that, whilst nurture important, nature (what’s bred in the bone) at point of birth has a major role to play how we go about, and interpret, life.

    My theory amply supported by my own family and those families close to me. My father, bemused/astonished/at times exasperated, occasionally marvels at how his four children – all fathered/mothered by the same two people – differ from each other. For instance, following my youngest sister’s narrative, you’d think we weren’t brought up in the same family. I once found myself asking her who she was talking about. Oh dear …

    As to your second quote: Yes, no doubt, some parents do damage but I have never bought wholesale into the well worn and tired Larkin quote that parents “fuck you up”. Maybe I have been lucky – though both my parents, each in their own way, were demanding. Very. Not least, or rather most, of their first born. And, yes, over a life time we have had run ins; yet they never laid waste to their affection for me (or their other children) or mine for them. One of these days I might actually pay them some written homage. It won’t be all sweetness and lite. However, and I thank them for it, my parents NEVER were: Indifferent. Passionate – yes. Opinionated – yes. Affectionate – yes. And sometimes a right pain. A pain, I dare say, they never intended to inflict.

    As an aside, and can’t remember now who made the observation, and a painful one it is: The moment you, the child, realizes that your parents are not all powerful, not infallible, human, is the moment scales fall from your eyes.


    1. It also matters that we as parents were not infallible or all powerful, and that realisation comes in at a stage in life when looking back is all that one is left with in relationships with one’s children.

  3. Haha…putting two messages together, now I know why upbringing in previous generations was far better.

    More kids in the family, so divided attention per kid; so less damage done to each kid by parents…hence better upbringing!

    Now, only one kid (mostly), so the degree of damage is very high! 🙂

    1. I shall muster all the courtesy I am capable of in the face of your bizarre assertion: May I ask what on earth gave you the warped idea that an “only” is at danger of a high “degree of damage”? It may be your, anecdotal, experience. Psychology suggests otherwise.


  4. Well, as you know, my upbringing was pretty dysfunctional, as I was always afraid of my father’s sudden uncontrollable rages. And once I started to forge my own identity, he hated it when I had different opinions from him. I’m sure all that had a very negative long-term effect on me, reducing my self-confidence and trust in other people. Those who have had a more positive upbringing, who have been encouraged and supported from the word go and provided with a calm and loving environment, are very lucky.

    1. In support of Rummuser, I was at a workshop/group once when a woman was upset about her childhood. It was too perfect and she had thought all life would be that way. She was still mourning.

      1. Good point, you two. A childhood of constant pampering and uncritical praise can be just as damaging as an obviously negative one.

    1. My late father well in his nineties once told me with great humility that he did what he did as a father because that is all he knew to do. That gave me a different perspective to the relationship that I had with him.

  5. Good point, you two. A childhood of constant pampering and uncritical praise can be just as damaging as an obviously negative one.

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