One of the more interesting things about becoming a parent is the new perspective you get on your own parents. Many times, you understand why your parents handled situations the way they did. Other times, you wonder why they made certain choices that could have been handled differently.
For example, I accept that my own Dad wasn’t the best of communicators, but I still don’t understand why he held back on so many of his views on life. I can remember on several occasions, my father would start to say something only to end it with, “Eh, some things you have to learn on your own.” As a kid, I never really questioned that. As an adult parent looking back, I’m somewhat annoyed.
It wasn’t as if we never talked, he just didn’t give much advice. He probably didn’t think that I would actually listen to his opinions on these “hard-way” life lessons. The problem is, I did listen. I actually did take into consideration what my parents told me. Because I listened, it only makes holding back on these important and painful nuggets of information all the more frustrating.
It is my belief that one of our jobs as parents is to pass along any information that might help our kids avoid some of the pitfalls and traps that we’ve discovered along the way. Holding back on that is almost like our ancient ancestors not telling their offspring which berries to avoid. Passing knowledge down is important for our growth as human beings.
My approach is quite the opposite of my Dad’s. Even if I know my kids won’t listen to what I have to say, I will still tell them. I would much rather my kids come to me later and say “Dad, you were right, I should have listened” than “Gee, Dad, why didn’t you warn me?”